The UFC yesterday announced that former interim lightweight champion Dustin Poirier has been named as the inaugural recipient of the Forrest Griffin Community Award. Named in honour of UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin, the award will recognise a UFC athlete for their exceptional volunteer and charity work and the meaningful impact their efforts have on the community.
Announced earlier this year, the Forrest Griffin Community Award will be presented annually and will be selected by UFC President Dana White. UFC Honours is the promotion’s annual awards program recognising UFC athletes, performances, and moments throughout each year.
As the inaugural recipient of the award, Poirier will receive a $25,000 donation to the charity of his choice and will be honoured for this award later this year during the 2020 UFC Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, which will be streamed live on UFC Fight Pass. The donation will be made courtesy of Toyo Tires.
“Dustin is a great athlete, but more importantly he’s a great human being,” UFC President Dana White said. “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.”
“We would like to congratulate Dustin on being selected as the first-ever Forrest Griffin Community Award recipient,” Toyo Tires Vice President of Marketing Tim Chaney said. We admire and commend Dustin for his efforts to support his local community and are pleased to donate $25,000 to the charity of his choice.”
In April 2018, Dustin and his wife, Jolie, established The Good Fight Foundation, with the mission of being committed to helping those in need and to fighting to change the world by doing positive things in the community.
Throughout the first two years of the foundation’s existence, they have launched a series of initiatives for those in need throughout Lafayette, the hometown of Poirier, and neighbouring Acadiana, Louisiana. These programs include annual Thanksgiving food drives, back to school campaigns, and fundraisers to help purchase necessity kits for hundreds of women experiencing homelessness, as well as furniture for local shelters.
Dustin has also utilised his fight-worn UFC Fight Kits, auctioning off his inventory of apparel to raise donations for families of fallen law enforcement officers, and building a local playground for Aaron Hill, a terminally ill seven-year old of Lafayette. Hill, diagnosed with a genetic brain disorder, requested to have a special needs playground built for his friends who attend Prairie Elementary School.
In May 2019, he was awarded with the key to the city of Lafayette by Mayor Joel Robideaux for his work with The Good Fight Foundation and his contributions to the community. Following his most recent fight in September 2019 against UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov in Abu Dhabi, Nurmagomedov and Poirier each raffled off their fight-worn UFC Legacy Series Walkout Jerseys, raising more than $100,000 with a direct match from UFC, totalling $200,000 donated directly to the foundation.
The funds generated from this global auction helped purchase hundreds of car seats, which were donated to the Women’s and Children’s Hospital of Lafayette. Later that year, Poirier and his foundation also partnered with former UFC heavyweight Justin Wren’s “Fight for the Forgotten” organisation. As part of this joint partnership, Poirier and Wren were able to use the funds raised and the platform to combat the water crisis in Uganda. During the campaign, they exceeded their fundraising goal of purchasing new water wells, and also secured 43.21 acres of land and a solar powered water well to create a more self-sustainable living environment for the Batwa Pygmy Tribe.
This year, Dustin and his team have stayed active in the community with relief efforts associated with COVID-19 by donating more than 1,000 meals to frontline healthcare workers at local hospitals and clinics. Currently ranked no. 3 in the lightweight division, Dustin is a veteran of 32 fights and has compiled a record of 25-6, 1 NC (18-6, 1 NC UFC) while competing in both the featherweight and lightweight divisions since his debut in 2009.
During his tenure inside the Octagon, Dustin has become a fan favourite by defeating former UFC featherweight champion Max Holloway twice, former UFC lightweight champions Eddie Alvarez and Anthony Pettis, as well as winner of season 14 of The Ultimate Fighter, Diego Brandao. Next up for the number 3 ranked lightweight is a UFC Vegas 4 showdown with the number 5 ranked Dan Hooker taking place tonight at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.