If you Google Dustin Poirier, you're likely to find photos of him looking fierce.

In April, the 30-year-old UFC fighter defeated Max Holloway to become the interim light heavyweight champion, an achievement he has dreamed of since his wrestling days at Northside High School. When he's in the spotlight, he's often battered and bloodied and fueled by adrenaline.

What you can't always see is his heart.


Dustin Poirier arrives at City Hall on Wednesday, May 15, 2019, in Lafayette.

"Dustin has the biggest heart," his friend and supporter Tim Metcalf says. Metcalf, who is often in Poirier's corner, is also the owner of Dean-O's.

Poirier's heart was on full display Wednesday. He fought tears as he accepted the key to the city Mayor-President Joel Robideaux. Later, he tirelessly greeted fans at a reception at Dean-O's that also raised funds for Poirier's nonprofit, the Good Fight Foundation.

Along with his wife, Jolie, whom he's known since middle school, Poirier has given back to the community in a number of ways. 

Since April 2017, the couple has followed each of Poirier's fights with an auction of his fight gear to raise money for a charity or cause in his hometown of Lafayette. They also began a nonprofit, The Good Fight Foundation, in an effort to make an even bigger impact on the community that raised them.

They donated to Second Harvest Food Bank, Acadiana Outreach Center and the widow of slain Lafayette Police Officer Michael Middlebrook. They bought computers for Acadian Middle School and provided every student with a backpack full of supplies.

Now they are nearly ready to break ground on a handicap-friendly playground at Prarie Elementary School. It's in honor of Aaron Hill, a 7-year-old Prairie student who died in October 2017 after suffering from a rare genetic brain disorder. Hill dreamed about a handicapped-playground at his school.

“This is what I love so much about Louisiana,” Poirier said. “We support each other. We support Acadiana. It’s been overwhelming the amount of support and the way the foundation has organically grown. It’s crazy how everything has come full circle."

But for Poirier, it's about more than raising money for big projects. For two hours Wednesday evening, he gave back in hundreds of little ways, too. 

Lafayette fighter is living his dream; he's also raising money to honor boy who didn't get to live his

From the UPS driver who stood in line still in uniform just to get an autograph to the bashful little girl who brought him a hand-drawn picture, Dustin's smile was unwavering. His gratitude for their support was genuine.

It had to be a lot of work, standing for hours, shaking hands and snapping photos, but you'd never know it by his demeanor.

"I'm so happy to do it," he said. "I feel so blessed to be able to do this."

You can donate to the Good Fight foundation at www.thegoodfightgroup.com.

Follow Kristin Askelson on Twitter, @kaskelson.