Although many likely heard Dustin Poirier’s name for the first time at UFC 257 last weekend, he’s been grinding for years. He has helped put Lafayette, Louisiana, on the map with an illustrious career both inside and outside of the octagon. Across his 12-year MMA career, The Diamond has earned himself a net worth of approximately $4 million.
Dustin came into the UFC with the other wave of WEC fighters, 8-1, and ready to debut at Featherweight on the first day of 2011. He fought on New Years Day at UFC 125 under Frankie Edgar and Gray Maynard, who fought the second fight on their classic trilogy. Dustin Poirier won a unanimous decision against Josh Grispi and was paid the least on the card. Dustin was paid just $8,000 for the fight. To the layman, perhaps that sounds like a lot of money for a night’s work, but training camps take months, and often, striking coaches, wrestling coaches, Jiu-Jitsu coaches, and nutritionists need to be paid, to name a few. To make matters worse, he only made $8,000 because he won. He was on a $4k to show, $4k to win contract.
From there, as those kinds of contracts often do, there was a gradual increase from fight to fight. In his next fight at UFC 131, he made $5k and $5k. Then for his Fox debut, he made $10k and $10k. To fight the future champion, Max Holloway, he made $12k to show and $12k to win. When he fought The Korean Zombie, he was set to make $14k to show $14k to win. Of course, he lost that fight, but because it was Fight of the Night, he made a $40k bonus, totaling $54k, his biggest purse yet.
When Dustin fought Conor McGregor the first time around at UFC 178, he was the Irishman’s first real test. As a result of it being so early on, he didn’t quite get the famed “red panty night.” For a hard loss, Poirier made $34k. Conor bagged himself $150k on the same night, peanuts compared to his current fight purses. That brings us forward to the rematch that took place on January 23rd. Of course, circumstances were extremely different this time around. Where Conor was growing into something special back then, he was a fully-fledged superstar this time. Like Conor, Dustin had also moved up to Lightweight, also winning gold in the division. In terms of the fight, things were different, and the Lafayette native’s contract reflected it. Dustin reportedly made a flat fee of $1 million at UFC 257, including PPV points that will likely tally up to more millions, considering how well the PPV did. He went from being the lowest-paid fighter on the UFC card he debuted on to making a million dollars in one night, with a McGregor trilogy fight likely on the horizon too.
Fans who followed the build-up to the McGregor rematch will know that Conor wasn’t the only one promoting his own product whenever he got the chance. At the ceremonial weigh-ins, Dustin handed Conor his own creation, Poirier’s Louisiana Style Hot Sauce. It’s sold on Heatonist (the home of all of the sauces from Hot Ones) for $12 a bottle, a premium that almost everyone that has sampled the sauce agrees is worth paying. There were clearly purchases being made frequently during the week, but since those weigh-ins when Conor took a bottle and the fight when Dustin finished Conor, it has been sold out. When asked what his next move was after the fight, Dustin replied that he had hot sauce to sell, so there’s no doubt he’ll use his new massive platform to give his business venture a boost.
But it wouldn’t be like Dustin Poirier if he didn’t use his own platform to give others a helping hand. Dustin and his wife Jolie run The Good Fight Foundation, a non-profit organization that dedicates itself to a different cause every time Dustin fights. Each time he fights, Dustin auctions off his fight kid and gives the proceeds to whatever cause has been chosen at the time. The Good Fight Foundation has been responsible for a playground for disabled children at Praire Elementary School in Poirier’s hometown, water wells in Uganda, back to school supplies for Acadian Middle School, and many more. Conor McGregor pledged a $500,000 donation before their rematch.
Dustin’s $4 million net worth has been earned the hard way, and while he deserves every penny and more, it speaks volumes that he uses so much of it to elevate others. You can donate to The Good Fight Foundation here.