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Dustin Poirier presented inaugural ‘Forrest Griffin Community Award’ ahead of UFC on ESPN 12

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Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight title challenger Dustin Poirier has been awarded the inaugural “Forrest Griffin Community Award” for his “exceptional volunteer and charity work” within the community, per a UFC press release Friday.

The announcement comes just 24 hours before “Diamond” takes on Dan Hooker in the main event of UFC on ESPN 12 live on ESPN/ESPN+ from inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.

“Announced earlier this year, the Forrest Griffin Community Award is presented annually as part of UFC Honors President’s Choice category, as the award recipient is personally selected by UFC President Dana White,” the release reads. “UFC Honors, presented by Toyo Tires® is the company’s annual awards program recognizing UFC athletes, performances, and moments throughout each year.”

Poirier, 31, has played a major role in his community over the past few years. His organization, The Good Fight Foundation, helps raise money for those in need in the Lafayette, La., area. Poirier has auctioned off fight memorabilia in the past to help his foundation’s cause and even donated over 1,000 meals to medical staff during the COVID-19 pandemic this past April.

“Dustin is a great athlete, but more importantly he’s a great human being,” said UFC President Dana White. “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.”

“I’m so happy people like him are in the sport,” added UFC Hall of Famer Forrest Griffin. “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.”

Poirier’s overall efforts within his local community were detailed in the official press release:

“Dustin has also utilized 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, totaling $200,000 donated directly to the foundation.”

“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,” said Poirier at the UFC on ESPN 12 weigh ins. “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, who will be competing in his sixth-straight UFC main event this weekend in Las Vegas, has produced a 9-2 (1 NC) record since moving back up to lightweight in 2015. “Diamond” did lose a recent title fight to current UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov back at UFC 242, but the veteran contender is hoping a win or two gets him right back in the hunt.

MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC on ESPN 12 fight card RIGHT HERE, starting with the ESPN/ESPN+ “Prelims” undercard bouts at 6 p.m. ET, followed by the ESPN/ESPN+ main card start time at 8 p.m. ET.

For complete UFC on ESPN 12 fight card news click here.