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Ultimate Fighting Championship lightweight Dustin Poirier will be the first fighter to receive the “Forrest Griffin Community Award” for his volunteer and charity work.
Ahead of his UFC on ESPN 12 encounter with Dan Hooker on Saturday, Poirier was bestowed this award for the work he has done for his community. The “Forrest Griffin Community Award” was introduced this year, as part of the UFC’s annual award ceremonies. Poirier is the first earn this honor, and with it, he will receive a $25,000 donation to any charity he chooses. The donation will be granted by Toyo Tires, a sponsor for the promotion.
After being informed that he had won this award, "The Diamond" was taken aback. He spoke to UFC play-by-play commentator Jon Anik shortly after learning this news.
“Yeah man, like you said [about the good work that Poirier’s foundation has done for his community], that’s heavy every time I see it,” remarked an emotional Poirier. “So I’m trying not to tear up right here. But, you know, I’m just grateful, man, I really am.”
Poirier started the “Good Fight Foundation” with his wife Jolie in 2018, where they would sell fight apparel and memorabilia and donate the proceeds to a local food bank. As it progressed, other fighters including former opponents Max Holloway and Khabib Nurmagomedov donated their apparel and sales of their own fight gear to the foundation. Equipment and gear company Everlast has since made “The Good Fight” its official charity, bringing other athletes into the fold. In addition to food banks, the foundation has raised money for the family of a policeman killed in the line of duty, a middle school in his area and a playground for children with disabilities.
UFC President Dana White extolled the deeds of Poirier, saying, “Dustin is a great athlete, but more importantly he’s a great human being.” White continued, “He is a kid who works hard and is passionate about giving back to not only his community, but to those who are less fortunate.”
The namesake of the award, former light heavyweight champ and Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin, also weighed in on the charity work that Poirier has accomplished so far.
“I’m so happy people like him are in the sport,” Griffin said. “He’s such a good person and such a good representative of the sport. As he looks back in his life this is something he can reflect on and be proud of. I couldn’t ask for a better spokesperson and leader to start off the award’s legacy.”
Leading up his bout with Hooker, Poirier and the foundation has donated upwards of 1,000 meals in Lafayette, Louisiana, area to support healthcare personnel during the COVID-19 pandemic. Additionally, Poirier will be paying for a local fans and family in a restaurant in his hometown to watch the event.
“We’ll be alright,” Poirier said with a laugh about his potential expense. “We’ll be pulling in some big money from this fight kit that I’m wearing when I’m gonna knock out this guy tomorrow night. Life goes on, and great things happen.”
Poirier concluded by expressing his gratitude for this honor, saying, “Thank you guys so much for everything, for spreading the word, for helping me get this out there and touching so many people with this platform.”
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