Rising Lightweight Tim Means Says UFC on FOX 7 Bout With Jorge Masvidal Is “The Right Fight at the Right Time”
By Kelsey Mowatt
While Tim Means may not have arrived in the UFC with as much hype as some fighters have, observers who have followed his career likely had few difficulties understanding why “The Dirty Bird” was Octagon bound. Not only had Means gone undefeated in nine straight fights, prior to signing with the UFC, but his record is stacked with stoppage wins.
Since then, Means has gone on to score a decision win over Bernardo Magalhaes, and last summer, he needed just over one minute to put away the highly touted Justin Salas. Due to his record, make-up, and abilities, Means’ renowned trainer Tom Vaughn recently referred to the vet as the “future of the lightweight division.” That’s some high praise.
“Tom knows fighters, and with a remark like that, you know it can only make me more confident,” Means said in a recent appearance on Full Contact Fighter Radio, when asked to comment on the compliment he had been handed by FIT NHB and Power MMA’s head instructor. “It makes me want to work hard; he’s not a coach that lets you cut corners…at the same time I have to want it more than he wants it, and it’s great to have a motivator like that in your corner and make you want to come to work.”
While Means has impressed in first two UFC performances, and he continues to rise the lightweight rankings, the 29 year-old is set to face a tough challenge in Jorge Masvidal. Means will battle the Strikeforce and Bellator vet this Saturday at UFC on FOX 7.
“I was extremely happy,” said Means, when asked for his reaction upon finding out he would fight Masvidal next. “Masvidal has a resume of killers he’s beat on his list; he has been finished once I think, so, you know, it’s just the right time.”
Masvidal (23-7) hasn’t fought since July, when he worked his way to a split decision win over Justin Wilcox, after losing by unanimous decision to former Strikeforce champ Gilbert Melendez. During his near decade long career, the American Top Team fighter has scored wins over notable vets like KJ Noons, Yves Edwards, Keith Wisniewski and Joe Lauzon, among others.
“I talked to Tom about it, and I talked to my manager Dave, and it was the right fight at the right time,” Means added. “So here we are.”
Not only is Masvidal well accustomed to throwing down for 15 minutes, evidenced by the fact that his last seven bouts have gone to decision, but he’s also a very well rounded fighter.
“I don’t think he has any clear cut advantages,” said Means. “I’m not worried about what he does; we’re going to go in there and fight the fight that we do. Just go win. I’m not concerned with what Masvidal’s good at.”
One of the things Means has been good at to date is putting away opponents with his striking game, which benefits from the 6’2 tall frame the lightweight’s equipped with.
“That’s always the plan,” Means noted. “The main thing is to get him uncomfortable and get him out of his realm. He’s real patient, he controls the distance very well, so I have to find a way to make him uncomfortable and get him breathing hard.”
“I know who he is and I know what he’s capable of,” added Means, who had been set to fight Abdel Trujillo in December, until he fell in the sauna one day before the weigh-ins and was unable to fight. “But Tom has prepared me well for this fight, and my teammates have really prepared me well, so I’m just going to do what I do.”