You would think that after winning three fights in a row, a fighter might want to take some time off to relax or heal up, not “The Dirty Bird”. At only 31 years old, Tim Means (23-6-1) has 30 professional fights. Means last fought February 28th at UFC 184, where he TKO’d Dhiego Lima (10-3) in a lopsided first round victory. He will be stepping into the octagon again on April 18th, to face George Sullivan (16-3). Sullivan’s original opponent, Kenny Robertson, had to pull from the fight due to injury, Means decided to step up. I caught up with “The Dirty Bird” before he makes his second octagon appearance of the year.
Mark Carrillo: You had only taken a few weeks off when the UFC approached you for this fight. How quick were you to accept the fight, and how much did you know about Sullivan before accepting?
Tim Means: I wasn’t expecting to fight until June or July. I know very little about Sullivan, but Coach Tom Vaughn said we are doing it so here we are.
MC: You have never had trouble fighting people in front of their home crowds in the past. Do you think it will be any tougher fighting Sullivan in front of his Jersey fans?
TM: Fighting guys in their backyard is by far my favorite kind of scrap. It’s always a little more personal then, and it’s just fun to walk into someone’s house and smack them around in front of friends and family.
MC: You have only won three fights by submission in your career, the last one was in 2011. Is it safe to say you will try to end this one on your feet, or will we see another rear-naked choke?
TM: I’m just planning to fight! No matter where the fight goes, I am very comfortable.
MC: In your last fight, you dominated Lima with your striking and muay thai clinch. How well do you feel your striking is compared to the rest of the UFC’s Welterweight division?
TM: I am very confident in my stand up ability. I don’t care who it is in front of me!
MC: Is there any specific welterweight you have your eye on for after this fight?
TM: George Sullivan is the mission, and the only welterweight in mind. He is dangerous with knockout power, so I can’t look past him.
MC: Where does the nickname “The Dirty Bird” come from?
TM: I had a bad haircut in my early days of competition, actually, I have had a few of them. A teammate said I looked like a “dirty bird” and the name stuck.
MC: If you weren’t a professional fighter, what kind of career would you have got into?
TM: It’s hard to say. Without martial arts I was struggling, I have since changed everything about myself to become a better person in my community and a better athlete.
MC: Anything you would like to say to Sullivan before the fight?
TM: I have nothing to say to George. I will do my chatting when the cage door shuts.
MC: Who all would you like to thank for helping you prepare for this fight?
TM: My team and coaches at FIT NHB, my fiancé Brenda Gonzales. TKOVapor.com, Damage Control Mouth Guards, and Trent Cotney Paralegal. Thanks to the UFC and Joe Silva for having me on speed dial and keeping me busy!
Be sure to catch Tim Means Saturday April 18th, at UFC Fight Night: Machida vs Rockhold.