You were born and raised on the bayous of Louisiana and grew up during the rise of the hip-hop scene in New Orleans. Back in those days, there was a power struggle being played out between Master P’s label No Limit Records and Birdman’s label Cash Money Records. I imagine there was no half-steppin’ on that particular topic. Which side of the line did you stand on?
That’s an awesome question, but Cash Money for sure…100 percent. When I was in middle school, kids used to run around with the “No Limit Records” on chains. They’d come up and ask if you were down with No Limit or Cash Money. For me,it was Cash Money all the way. That was an awesome question. I love it.
Is there another genre of music that you dig in your free time?
I like to listen to older rock n’ roll with a little bit of older country, too. I listen to Johnny Cash and Lynyrd Skynyrd. Just good ole music, man. You were heavily featured in a critically acclaimed documentary Fightville that chronicled the regional MMA scene in southern Louisiana.
If a camera crew showed up around the Poirier residence these days, what would be the subject matter of the next documentary?
I could definitely put together my own cookbook and should have my own cooking show. If you want to set that up with Food Network, that’s good by me. I’m pretty sure that one guy on the Food Network—Guy Fieri—is a big fan of MMA and a really big UFC fan. I think if we could get a show together, that would be the best way to go.
How about The Knockout Kitchen?
That’s exactly right. You got it, man. Now get to work so we can get this pilot shot and put together.
As a proud Louisianan and a native of the Gulf Coast, you get to see different aspects of your culture all over television. Shows like Duck Dynasty and Gator Boys have become very popular. How much “reality” is in those reality programs?
You know what, man, those things exist for real, and it’s not just for television. New Orleans, Baton Rouge, and Lafayette—where I’m from—are all cities, and they are pretty modern, but if you drive two hours away from those places, you get some pretty crazy stuff like you see on television.
In addition to your fighting skills, you also have a strong ink game working. At what age did you get your first tattoo?
My first tattoo was at 14 years old. To tell you the truth, it was done in somebody’s living room in some old project in Louisiana. Looking back now, I’m happy it didn’t get infected or I didn’t catch any crazy diseases. I got lucky.
What’s next in the ink department?
With tattoos now, it kind of comes and goes. I’ll be cool for a year and won’t get any work done. But then I’ll get the itch after a fight or something and I’ll want to get some work done. It just comes and goes, but I’m definitely still working on it. I’ll probably start working on a sleeve for my left arm.
I bet you get some interesting looks from the older crowd?
Yeah. I’ll be in the grocery store shopping, and there will be some old lady with blue hair across from me, and I can see her staring at my arms and giving me that look like I’m some kind of bad guy or something. Going from a highly touted prospect in the WEC to becoming one of the top featherweights on the UFC roster and with all the attention Fightville garnered, sounds like it has been a pretty hectic stretch for you. It has been 100 miles an hour with no looking back. I’m happy with everything that has happened thus far, and that includes the losses on my record. I’ve learned a lot from those losses, and I believe everything happens for a reason. I want to finish out this year with another win, then head into 2014, get a few more wins, and get that strap. I’m growing in this sport with every fight and every day in training. I don’t take any time off. I train everyday, and I think it is all part of my journey. I think everything is right on track and where it should be.
Is 2014 going to be your year?
100 percent. That title is within my grasp. I just have to go out there and win fi ghts. If I keep beating top guys, it will definitely happen. I know Ricardo Lamas is fi ghting Jose Aldo for the title next, and I feel like I can beat Ricardo Lamas, so I’m close, man. I’m right there.