The UFC announced on Friday that the former interim lightweight champion received the award for his outstanding work with The Good Fight Foundation, a community initiative he created with his wife, Jolie.
“I’m just grateful for the things we have accomplished with the foundation, the way it’s growing and the support and people getting behind it,” Poirier said in a press release. “It’s amazing that when you do something from the heart, something that means something to you and you do it the right way, all the right things fall into place. These things are forced they are just happening.”
Poirier was surprised with the award during an interview with Jon Anik, which was shared on the UFC’s Twitter account.
In collaboration with Toyo Tires, Poirier will receive $25,000 towards the charity of his choice for being the inaugural recipient of the award, which he will receive at the 2020 UFC Hall of Fame ceremony.
“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.”
The Poiriers have launched several programs through their foundation over the last two years, including 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.
In addition, Poirier has auctioned off his fight kits from previous fights. Following his most recent bout with Khabib Nurmagomedov at UFC 242, both fighters raised more than $100,000 auctioning off their in-fight gear, which was matched by the UFC.
Ahead of his UFC on ESPN 12 headliner with Dan Hooker, Poirier is footing the bill for patrons who watch the event at a local establishment in Lafayette, La, as he revealed during his virtual media day interview.
One of the goals Poirier has set with his non-profit is to inspire other fighters to give back to their communities.
“If they don’t have the stuff to do it, we can run their stuff and we can auction off through The Good Fight and we would love to help them put together things that mean something to them in their local communities,” Poirier said. “I’d love to give this foundation branches to work with as many athletes as possible to see how many people we can help because that is what it is all about.”