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UFC star Dustin Poirier unbothered by Bud Light controversy, 'pumped' for partnership with brand

UFC star Dustin Poirier has partnered with Bud Light, close to a year after the beer brand began a campaign featuring trans activist Dylan Mulvaney that led to plenty of consumer backlash.

After Bud Light began an ad campaign featuring transgender activist Dylan Mulvaney and sending personalized packs of Bud Light decorated with Mulvaney's face to the influencer, the historic brand was canceled by many consumers.

Late last month, parent company Anheuser-Busch InBev said revenue in the U.S. market declined by 9.5% in 2023 and dropped by 17.3% in the fourth quarter "with sales-to-retailers (STRs) down by 12.1%, primarily due to the volume decline of Bud Light." 

U.S. volumes were also weaker than expected, falling 15.3% in the fourth quarter. Beer Business Daily publisher Harry Schuhmacher told Fox News Digital he believes May and June will be critical for the brand, as it will be able to tout year-over-year growth without pre-boycott data factored in. 


But that did not stop the UFC from once again making Bud Light the official beer of the MMA promotion late last year.

Although UFC fighter Sean Strickland recently blasted the company, saying he was "so sick of these c---s" who "force feed your kids f---ing pride flags." not every UFC fighter feels the same.

In fact, fresh off his UFC 299 knockout earlier this month, Dustin Poirier has joined the company as a partner.

"Dude, I’m pumped up about this. Bud Light, Budweiser is an American brand that’s been around. It’s historic, it’s been involved in sports forever. When I got the call to be on the team, I was super excited," Poirier told Fox News Digital in a recent interview.


Of course, backlash is bound to happen, but Poirier isn’t afraid of it one bit, considering the UFC and Bud Light have been in business for a long while.

"It is what it is. Of course, people want clickbait, and any kind of traction they can get, but in life, in fighting, in business, there’s ups and downs. We go through life and learn and keep moving. That’s what it’s all about, that’s what fighting’s about. We keep it forward," he said.

"I didn’t have any stress being in line with this brand. Obviously, this year they’re starting a new partnership with the UFC, but they’ve been in the Octagon for a long time."

Poirier admitted that Bud Light "learned [its] lessons," but compared his fighting career to the company's tumultuous year.

"I can beat anybody in the world, but I can lose to anybody in the world, too, because I’m human. Listen, man, I have 50 fights. I’ve been at the highest of the highs and the lowest of the lows in this sport. And just like I said, aligning with this brand, Bud Light, you have to keep moving forward. You learned your lessons, be better than you were the last time — keep training, keep fighting and keep living. That’s life, man," he said.

Poirier is expected to take on Islam Mackhachev at some point this year for the lightweight title.

FOX Business' Breck Dumas contributed to this report.

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