Talk to any super rich music artist, sports figure, actor, or any public figure and they'll tell you that while they certainly make tons of money off of their respective vocations, the real cash is in moving consumer products with high profit margins. Jessica Alba revolutionized the baby care industry with Honest Co., Michael Jordan's apparel line dominates the sneaker game, and Jorge Masvidal moves Mezcal like it's no one's business. Dustin Poirier is doing the same with his hot sauce.
Dustin Poirier handed Conor McGregor a bottle of his Heartbeat hot sauce after their UFC 257 staredown.
When it comes to mixed martial artists who've made a huge splash in launching their own products, there's arguably no one who's made more money than Conor McGregor with his Proper 12 Irish whiskey — which has made over $1 billion in sales to date, and continues to sell well worldwide.
While Poirier is earning the biggest fight purse of his career against Conor in their rematch ($1 million), it seems like he's looking to emulate Conor's business model and plans to earn some additional income outside of the cage as well. This income that could prove way more financially viable far after his fighting days are behind him.
The similarities between the two fighters, although they have completely separate personalities, are readily apparent. Like Conor, Poirer used to compete at featherweight. Also like the Irishman, Dustin looked to his own roots and decided to market something his birthplace is known for: hot sauce.
Ireland and whiskey go hand in hand, just like spicy condiments and Louisiana have a long-standing relationship.
Which is probably why Dustin decided to partner with Heartbeat Hot Sauce Co. to release his own brand of peppery food-topping deliciousness: Poirier's Louisiana Style Hot Sauce, complete with a diamond plastered on the label, fashioned after the pugilist's in-cage moniker.
The product description is as follows: "Dustin Poirier is bringing the heat! We've partnered with Louisiana legend and UFC fan favourite Dustin Poirier to bring you Poirier's Louisiana Style, a hot sauce ode to his Lafayette, Louisiana roots. Like any good cajun sauce, the recipe starts with the best cayenne peppers, fermented to round out the sting and up the flavour before finishing with vinegar, sea salt, celery and garlic."
The description continues, "Add in a handful of red habaneros for an extra punch of heat, and you have a knock out sauce that can take on everything from heavyweight meals like biscuits and gravy to featherweight dishes like grilled chicken breast or cauliflower pizza."
Immediately following his media staredown with Conor McGregor, Dustin gifted a bottle of the sauce to hand to "The Notorious One." Conor happily accepted before holding it up to the crowd and throwing his arm over the Lafayette, La., native. It's safe to assume that Conor appreciates fighters who are attempting to establish their own brands outside of slugfests, as he's no stranger to side hustles himself.
Intensity and respect in equal measure! 🙌— UFC on BT Sport (@btsportufc) January 22, 2021
Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor come face-to-face for the final time before the rematch goes down!@TheNotoriousMMA has got his hot sauce 😅
Watch #UFC257 live on BT Sport Box Office ➡️ https://t.co/LmdecOCthi pic.twitter.com/IJtTkPb6x2
And while two UFC 257 bouts have been canceled, the match between Dustin Poirier and Conor McGregor is still on.
The main event is definitely taking place, and both McGregor and Poirier looked like they're in excellent shape for the match-up. There was some drama surrounding two other bouts on the card, however.
Ottman Azaitar was ejected from the UFC after his team reportedly "violate[d] Fight Island safety protocols."
In an interview with BT Sport, UFC President Dana White dished out on why they decided to cut Ottman from the promotion. "It's pretty amazing actually. Did we not tell the story? Are we not telling the story?" she said.
Dana added, "So, he and his team, cut off their wristbands, gave them to somebody outside the bubble, I don't know how they even did it. That guy taped them, showed up here with a bag, went into a room, shimmied across four balconies, went in his room, dropped the bag off, changed his clothes and left. When security tried to stop him, he wouldn't stop. It's just, yeah, he's gone. He's no longer a UFC fighter and he's not fighting tonight."
The real question is: What was in Ottman's bag and why did he go through so much trouble to get him whatever he was giving him? With all of the "shadiness" surrounding the situation, it's understandable why the UFC cut him. Which is a shame considering his cage record; he was an undefeated lightweight prospect with a 13-0 record, and a staggering 12 knockouts. Had he put on an impressive performance tonight, he may have had a shot down the line against Dustin or Conor.
Now he'll have to try and fight in a different promotion, but it's difficult to imagine that other leagues would be happy to scoop him up, given the severity of the violations against the fighter.