Tim Means On UFC 151 Opponent Abel Trujillo: “He Wants To Step On My Toes, So I Can’t Let That Happen.”
By Kelsey Mowatt
Following his first round stoppage of Justin Salas in June, Tim Means relayed to Full Contact Fighter that he was hoping the victory had “turned some heads”, due in part to his opponent’s top prospect status. While Means didn’t get tapped to fight one of the UFC’s more established vets as a result of the victory, he was assigned a bout with yet another rising lightweight in Abel Trujillo.
“I’m not disappointed. Every fight in the UFC is a tough fight and I’m going to train and prepare for him like he’s a world champion in our weight class,” said Means, who will meet Trujillo (9-4) on September 1st at UFC 151. “Right now this guy’s coming in, he wants to step on my toes, so I can’t let that happen. I just have to get in his face and punish him from the beginning to the end. I’m really excited about this fight.”
The similarities between Salas and Trujillo go beyond their prospect profile, however, as like the former, Trujillo is a 5’8 tall, compact fighter who comes from an extensive wrestling background.
“I agree,” said the 6’2 Means, while discussing whether he sees similarities between the two. “I also fought a guy that’s really similar to him, Ricky Musgrave; both compact, really strong guys. I’m expecting the same type of fight I had with Musgrave, a hard, grinding fight, and it came down to the very end to pull that fight out.”
“I’m expecting a lot of power from the guy, but from what I’ve watched, he’s really flat footed,” said the 28 year-old Means (18-3). “He has that stance where he hangs his front hand, real, real low and I’m going to try to exploit that.”
Like Salas, who trains out of the Grudge Training Center, Trujillo also fights out of a renowned camp. The 28 year-old-fighter continues to hone his skills by training with the Blackzilians at the Jaco Hybrid Training Center in Florida.
“Yeah; that Blackzilian team has a lot of good athletes over there but I don’t have to fight all the athletes there, I just have to fight that guy,” said the FIT NHB competitor. “We have a bunch of great fighters where we are now in Albuquerque…So I’m getting my cardio up here, real, real high and I’m going to push the pace.”
Despite the fact that Means used his reach and striking game to quickly put away Salas in June, the man nicknamed “Dirty Bird” still expects the UFC newcomer to come right out of the starting gate.
“I don’t think he’s going to be cautious,” said Means. “I think wrestlers are just naturally aggressive guys and they’re going to come out and get in your face. They try to push the pace; it’s just in their nature.”
“This guy has a good wrestling background, so I’m expecting him to get in my face, but if he thinks he’s a stand-up guy then we’re going to exchange, and I’m going to have to stuff the takedowns,” Means furthered. “I feel really comfortable with my hands, and when I start to tattoo him a little bit, he’s going to try to go back to what he does best.”
Prior to facing Salas, Means scored a unanimous decision win over Bernardo Magalhaes at a UFC on FUEL event in February. Although Means will fight Trujillo less than two months after he fought Salas, the eager fighter was hoping to compete even sooner.
“I thought it took a long time; I thought I’d be fighting again within a month,” said Means, who is riding an 11 fight, undefeated streak. “We had that summit with the UFC…but I thought it took a little longer than I expected to get a fight but I was extremely happy. It helps me pay my bills and it’s another fight towards my next goal. I just need to get Abel out of my way.”