FIT NHB’s Tom Vaughn Discusses Evolution of UFC’s Tim Means, Fighting and on the Mic
By Kelsey Mowatt
Tim Means has been raising some eyebrows recently, not only through his performances in the Octagon, but in some of his pre and post-fight interviews.
Means closed out 2014 by scoring consecutive decision victories over Hernani Perpetuo and most recently Marcio Alexandre Jr., after being decisioned by Neil Magny last May. The 30 year-old fighter and former lightweight has looked extremely comfortable fighting at 170, and with that success, has come more opportunities on the mic.
Fans who have followed Means (22-6-1) for some time know that “The Dirty Bird” isn’t afraid to speak his mind, but those interviews weren’t necessarily seen by thousands of observers. Well, last month, Means worked his way to a split decision win over Alexandre Jr. in the latter’s native Brazil. During the bout, Means landed a borderline knee to the welterweight, which was called a foul, and riled up the crowd in the process.
Following the victory, however, Means eagerly welcomed the boos he received, and even thanked the fans for all their insults. Means also relayed that he believed Alexandre Jr. had pulled his hand up from the mat, just before the knee landed.
“We think so too,” FIT NHB head coach Tom Vaughn recently said on Full Contact Fighter Radio, while discussing Means’ potential to be a draw with his fights, as well as his personality. “He’s just getting comfortable with himself and with the fight game. I just got permission to talk about this. We just signed a new, four fight deal. So he got a raise and we’re all happy.”
“He taunted a little bit. I rewatched the fight on television…You couldn’t really tell on that, but it was deafening loud, they were booing him so hard in that venue. It was just deafening,” Vaughn added. “He taunted them a little bit, and he showed a little bit, that’s kind of the way Timmy is. He’s really just kind of showing he’s an interesting guy. He’s funny, and he’s bright, and he’s also combative.”
Following Means’ win in December, which pushed his overall Octagon record to 4-3, the vet has been booked to fight Dhiego Lima on February 28th at UFC 184. Lima is a dangerous fighter standing and on the mat, and it will be interesting to see what kind of approach Means’ takes.
The Albuquerque fighter has received praise for his dangerous striking game, but Means relayed in recent months that he’s been spending more time sharpening his wrestling.
“He started out as a wrestler…” Vaughn recalled about Means. “He has the potential to be a good wrestler, just as his striking developed, I think he found it more interesting. Definitely people like to see the striking. But he has much more ability in the wrestling area and actually on the ground then people give him credit for.”
“He’s been getting the job done standing, but the more effective your wrestling is, I think it makes you more of a threat and opens up some things,” Vaughn furthered. “We’re happy with…things don’t change overnight despite what people think, and it’s hard to get somebody to do something different than what’s worked for them before. So, some of this stuff is that we’re slowly evolving into the mixed-martial-artist that we know Tim is.”
UFC 184 will be hosted by the Staples Center in Los Angeles on February 28th.