Dustin Poirier on Samsung partnership, UFC New Orleans, Justin Gaethje call-out & making a difference
By Amy Kaplan
Full Q & A with Dustin Poirier following his experience at the Samsung collective this week.
On March 22, former UFC interim champion Dustin Poirier appeared as a guest speaker at Samsung's second annual Galaxy Creator Collective, where he spoke on a panel about his career and perseverance throughout.
FanSided MMA was able to sit down with Poirier just moments after the panel to talk about the experience, MMA and what's ahead for him both in and out of the Octagon.
What was the experience like speaking at the Samsung conference?
It was cool. It was the first time I've ever spoken to a crowd of content creators. I've done a lot of talking in front of crowds and audiences and stuff like that, but more so about my fighting career or about overcoming things. This was a little bit of that, about overcoming trial. But different, different it was fun.
Do you ever get nervous speaking in front of crowds like that? You're used to fighting in front of people but speaking is a different thing
Not really. Moreso when I do these, like solo things. If I go on stage and speak to a bunch of people solo, and I don't have somebody directing or meditating, you know, but I was up there with it with a female astronaut, who had an incredible story, and I'm kind of just piggybacking and talking about different topics. That stuff's easy. I wasn't really nervous about that.
What got you excited about doing this with Samsung?
I mean, I love working with Samsung, first of all. It's just a fun opportunity to come here and create some content with them. And we're doing a shoot tomorrow. So that's, that's just a bonus.
Yeah, I'm not sure where it's gonna be run. But definitely, that's a commercial shoot.
How exciting is it for you to be having these experiences outside of fighting because your fighting career?
Yeah, you know, and I have a lot of stuff going on, a lot of partnerships. Samsung was a huge partnership. It's a worldwide brand, you know, and I'm thankful for the opportunity. Fighting was definitely a vehicle that got me into the spotlight or into interviews that sparked these partnerships with Samsung and with the other companies I work with.
What are you working on that maybe the fans haven't been aware of yet?
As far as business? I have my bourbon brand. I just recently purchased a wine market in Louisiana. We're building that out, building a tasting room, we have big plans for that. It's a nice place called Marcellos Wine Market, it's huge 6000 square foot.
Are you thinking of doing your own wine brand?
No, no, no, not right now.
I heard from someone that you are considering a brow bowling career in the future, is this true?
(Laughing) I mean, I'm decent. I wouldn't say pro I'm decent semi pro.
So not that serious, do you have a team name, like a bowling league name?
My team name was Up Your Alley. I was on a team a long time ago.
What advice would you give yo fighters who wat to break into the business side, or using their fighting career to break into business?
Probably align yourself and do things with products or categories that you actually love. Like, I was talking to these creators, about partnerships, a lot of my sponsors, and a lot of my partnerships I have, they were organically made, like I was using Samsung. You know, they heard me on Joe Rogan talking about my phone and that I wasn't switching back to Apple ever that I'm staying Samsung for life. And then they reached out to me. And that was an organic partnership. And I have a few of those. Just be true to what you like and try to make it work that way. That way, you're not carrying around a bunch of stuff that you don't really use and you're just taking pictures and posting, you know, this, these are stuff that I use on a daily basis.
Do you feel like there's a good time in a fighter's career to start making these types of connections?
If you find products or things that you really believe in and really like, start incorporating them into your everyday posts and training sessions and things that you use and then eventually, if it's meant to be or if the brand is aligned, then it'll happen. You know, I've never chased anything. It's always happened organically. And of course I use things that promote things that you actually use.
Is there anything you use now that you would love to be sponsored by?
Ah, off the bat. I can't think of anything. Not right now.
You should have said a Ferrari
(Laughing) Ferrari, yeah!
And of course, I got to ask what's on the horizon ... fight wise? Do you have anything coming up? Or what can we expect from you from there?
I've been waiting to hear from the UFC. You know, I have no idea. Your guess is as good as mine. We'll see. I know they have a matchmaker meeting every Tuesday, there was a big lightweight fight that happened this past weekend. So we'll see if the stars align there or what's next. I don't know.
Speaking of that big fight, Justin Gaethje did call you out, sounds like he would like to fight you next. Is that a fight that interests you at all?
It’s a fight that makes me nervous. When I hear a name and I get nervous it’s motivation — same thing with Chandler. When I heard Chandler’s name when they called me with Michael Chandler, I was nervous because I knew the dangers of those kinds of fights and that’s what motivates me. Same thing with Justin. If they do call me and he’s the name that they say, maybe it happens. We’ll see.
You recently tweeted 'UFC New Orleans', was that a hint or a suggestion?
No, that was a suggestion. Come back to Louisiana. Let's go to the city. And let's throw some hands.
If it were between a big PPV or the UFC coming back to New Orleans, would you give up the PPV?
I would love to fight in New Orleans, I've only fought for the UFC once in New Orleans last time they were there was like 2015 or 16. But I'm a businessman. And we'll see what kind of PPV your opportunities we have.
I know you said you don't know when your next fight is, but do you have desired timeframe?
I'm happy, but you know I only fought once last year. And I don't want that to happen again this year. But at the same time, my life's different now. You know, my daughter's in first grade. So a summer fight would be ideal. That way I can bring my family with me to for the bulk of the training camp. For this last fight with Chandler, we had to split it up. I can't take my daughter out of school for eight, or nine weeks. So that makes a little bit more difficult. But summer would be good.
Speaking of your daughter, I hear you're a cheerleading dad?
Man, I'm a cheerleader, tumbling, soccer, everything. Yeah, doing it all.
What would you say if your daughter wanted to start fighting?
I'd rather her do something else. You know, I feel like I'm taking the lumps in my fighting career, so she doesn't have to. But if it's something she showed interest in or wanted to do, I would definitely be there in her corner for sure.
I also heard there was a recent Dustin Poirier Day, what was that like?
So since I got that proclamation, this is the second year. First-year we just kind of hung out and barbecued I think. This year we did a give back to the community and at a local shelter and brought in a bunch of barbers, a bunch of hairdressers and, you know gave haircuts and styled people's hair and also put together necessity kits with soap, toothpaste, razors, toothbrushes, deodorant, things like that for them to take after they got their hair cut. So just try to give back to the community at the hub in Lafayette, Louisiana.
The interview may have been edited for clarity and time, but the full unedited interview can be watched in the link above.