FIT NHB’s Tom Vaughn: UFC Vet Tim Means “Will Be a Factor in The Welterweight Division”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Following a knockout victory over veteran Pete Spratt Legacy Fighting Championships 23 in September, UFC veteran Tim Means plans to make a run at welterweight. According to Means’ renowned head coach at FIT NHB, Tom Vaughn, the 6’2 tall fighter’s days at 155 pounds have have come to an end.
“He’s done at lightweight,” Vaughn relayed in a recent appearance on Full Contact Fighter Radio. “Everything just had to be so perfect to get him there. The idea wasn’t to keep him there forever, because he’s a big guy, but he was already the King of the Cage Lightweight Champion and I thought we’d go in (the UFC), he won the first two fights, so I just thought we could get him in the top ten pretty quick at lightweight.”
Means scored a unanimous decision win over Bernardo Magalhaes in his Octagon debut, and then went on to quickly stop Justin Salas at UFC on FX 3 last June. In 2013, however, he lost by decision to both Jorge Masvidal and Danny Castillo. For his short notice bout with Castillo, at UFC on FOX 8, Means came in several pounds over weight.
“He had the problem in the sauna, was out the first time in Seattle, so we kind of got put back in the rotation,” added Vaughn, while referring to last December, when Means was injured after slipping the sauna and was unable to fight Abel Trujillo at UFC on FOX 5. “He needed to make money so we were just asking for anything. They pretty much just said hey, we’ll we’ve got Jorge Masvidal, almost like saying we’re not sure if you guys want that fight. Jorge’s a good fighter; he has a bunch of experience so we accepted it anyways.”
“Tim is a tall guy, he’s a strong guy, it’s not like he gets pushed around. We just thought this was the perfect time to go to welterweight you know?” the Albuquerque coach furthered. “Not have these potential catastrophes on weigh in day you know?…He’s still tall for welterweight. He was just crazy big for lightweight.”
So, not only will Means no longer have to endure the rigorous and difficult cut to 155, but Vaughn sees another benefit that he’ll gain by competing at welterweight.
“There’s also a speed thing though; guys at lightweight are so frickin quick,” Vaughn noted. “I almost feel like we’ll stop more takedowns at welterweight. They’re just a little bit bigger, so it’s a little bit easier. During training, and granted it’s just training, but when he was sparring with say Aaron Simpson, who I always thought was one of the best wrestlers in MMA, he was stopping Aaron’s takedowns. Not everyone of them, but quite a few of them. I think it’s going to work out even better at welterweight.”
And as far as what’s next for Means? Vaughn believes the fighter will return to Legacy FC for a bout in January.
“We’re happy to have him fighting there and we’ll just what happens from there,” said Vaughn. “We’re talking to people in other countries, we like to travel; we’re just going to do whatever seems like the right thing. He’s got a lot of room to still grow and I think he’ll be a factor in the welterweight division.”