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Sunday, April 22, 2012
'Fightville': UFC's Dustin Poirier in new film

By Lynn Hoppes

Fightville Trailer from Pepper and Bones on Vimeo.



It's not as easy to rise up the ranks of the UFC as Jon Jones is doing.

On Saturday, the 24-year-old Jones, who turned pro four years ago, won a unanimous decision over former training partner Rashad Evans to retain his UFC 145 world light heavyweight championship.

It's becoming a storybook career for Jones, the UFC's youngest champ ever, who dropped out of college to start competing in mixed martial arts.

That's similar to the storyline in the new documentary "Fightville," which tells the story of a group of athletes, including UFC star Dustin Poirier, trying to get out of Southern Louisiana.

"There are a lot of hard-working guys like me out there trying to do anything to get out of here," said the featherweight Poirier, who turned pro in 2009 out of Lafayette, La. "That's what we're about. We work hard every day and that carries over into the ring."

No wonder there are so many MMA movies out these days. "Warrior" (2011), "Never Back Down" (2008) and "Undisputed III: Redemption" (2010) have brought people to theaters, and "The Ultimate Fighter" and "Bully Beatdown" are showcased on TV.

And directors Petra Epperlein and Michael Tucker are hoping "Fightville," released this weekend, draws the same enthusiasm. They saw the potential in the athletes in Southern Louisiana, and Poirier has even made it out. He is scheduled to face Chan Sung Jung on May 15 in the main event of UFC on Fuel TV.

"My goal is to be the best fighter and be world champion," said Poirier, who has a purple belt in Brazilian jiu-jitsu. "When I'm done, I want to leave behind a legacy. I'm not in it just for the fame and money. I'm looking to build an empire."

Similar to Jones, Poirier doesn't even want to think where he'd be if he didn't have MMA.

"Mixed martial arts changed my life. I was hanging with the wrong crowd. I might be in jail today," Poirier said. "I've learned so many life lessons. It's really opened my eyes. And, when I'm done, I'm hoping to also change people's lives."