Power MMA And FIT NHB Head Coach Tom Vaughn On Tim Means: “He’s The Future Of The Lightweight Division”
Means To Battle Jorge Masvidal at UFC on FOX 7
By Kelsey Mowatt
While Tom Vaughn helps oversee the career and evolution of high profile fighters like Ryan Bader, CB Dollaway and Aaron Simpson at Power MMA and FIT NHB, the veteran trainer is also a driving force behind rising lightweight Tim Means. Due to the fact the 29 year-old fighter is still relatively new to the UFC, and hasn’t competed since last June, Means could be one of the 155 pound division’s top fighters your casual MMA fan has never heard of.
“I’m really excited for Tim and about Tim,” Vaughn noted on Full Contact Fighter Radio recently, while discussing the former King of the Cage champ and FIT NHB fighter. “He’s been with us since nearly the beginning. He’s been through a lot in his life and to see where he’s at as a fighter, and as a person is just great.”
Means (18-3-1) arrived in the UFC last year riding a nine fight, undefeated streak, and then proceeded to defeat Bernardo Magalhaes by unanimous decision last February, before stopping Justin Salas at a UFC on FX card in June.
“I’m excited for the world to find out about Tim Means,” Vaughn furthered. “I definitely think he’s the future of the lightweight division but one fight at a time. He’s got a pretty exciting fight coming up.”
That “fight” will see Means take on Strikeforce veteran Jorge Masvidal (23-7) on April 20th, when the two battle at UFC on FOX 7. It will be interesting to see how the bout plays out, and whether Masvidal can navigate the long limbs of his 6’2 tall opponent, which Means uses effectively to augment his striking arsenal.
“It definitely does take experienced fighters to know how to adjust their game to certain physical differences, and shorter, stockier guys bring a certain problem to the game as well,” Vaughn said. “It’s not just tall rangy fighters; if a guy’s compact and they know how to use it that can be real pesky too.”
“I would say there’s other stuff about Tim,” Vaughn furthered about Means, who has recorded 7 victories by TKO or KO in his last 10 bouts. “But we’ll let people find that out when it happens. There’s other things. The thing that’s obvious about him is exciting, but there’s other stuff; I don’t want to give away anything.”
The aforementioned win over Salas demonstrated why Means had received plenty of praise prior to his UFC arrival, as the Albuquerque fighter put away the decorated wrestler with strikes in just over one minute.
“We went in respecting this opponent and I felt comfortable with the fight but it’s a fight,” Vaughn recalled. “That’s the beautiful thing about MMA; it’s just far, far less predictable than boxing…any fight can be won or lost in a number of ways.”
“We knew we were up against a good guy,” Vaughn added about Salas, who had won six straight prior to facing Means, which included a unanimous decision win over Anton Kuivanen at a UFC on FUEL card last February. “But I believed in Tim; his timing was on, and we ended it quit that night.”
The Means, Masvidal bout will take place April 20th, at UFC on FOX 7 in San Jose, which will feature a lightweight fight between UFC champion Benson Henderson and former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez.