While 2013 proved to have a rocky start for former UFC lightweight Tim Means, the year ended on a positive note and with the promise of something better in 2014.
In April, Means suffered his first loss in over three years to Jorge Masvidal, and then followed that up with another loss to Danny Castillo, making for his first back-to-back losses in a nine-year career and a release from the UFC.
Means managed to rebound with a win over Pete Spratt in Legacy FC in September and charted a new course for his career.
“It seemed like I was only able to get short notice fights and not get full camps in to cut weight, so that lead to weight issues,” said Means. “The fight with Pete Spratt in September (at welterweight) went well.
“I learned a lot from 2013 and heading into 2014 I’m feeling good.”
Rather than just move up a weight class without having had a chance to test himself, Means tested the waters against some of the toughest competition possible before committing to 170 pounds.
“We went over to Arizona State and wrestled some of their All-Americans to see how I would hold up strength-wise against their 185 and 205 guys and my strength was good, so a move up in weight was definitely in the picture,” said Means.
“It worked out for me against Spratt. He’s not really tall, but he’s got a lot of muscle on his frame and when he grabbed ahold of me, it wasn’t like he was throwing me around, he was having trouble holding me. It’s definitely the best move and I feel strong at the weight and I’m looking forward to seeing what happens at that weight.”
Means (19-5-1) makes his return to Legacy on Friday night against Artenas Young (10-6) in a featured lightweight bout.
“He’s tall, lanky, and is used to fighting at heavier weights like 185, but I think he has problems cutting weight because he fades in his fights a lot,” said Means of Young. “He’s explosive at first, like in the first few minutes of the first round, so he’s going to come out and try to knock me out right away because I don’t think he has the gas tank to go into deep waters with me.”
After a disappointing start to last year, Means told MMAWeekly.com that while he’s looking forward to a better year in 2014, he’s going to take things slowly and enjoy himself one step at a time.
“Last year with the UFC, we set all these goals and were trying to reach all these different levels and stuff and it was making fighting less fun. It was making it more like a job and not the fun thing it’s meant to be,” said Means.
“We’ve kind of gone back to our roots and doing what we do; the entire struggle and the pain and suffering in the gym and practice; and hopefully because we’ve done that, the fight will be easy. I’m looking for a big win on Friday.”