Tim Means legacy will not be defined by social media stature or even necessarily a world championship, but if he has any say it will be defined by his incomparable spirit of violence.
Means spoke with Bloody Elbow ahead of UFC Washington and revealed how he wants to be remembered when the book closes on his fight career.
“It’s always been blood and guts. I want to be known as a guy who left it all in the cage and took the best opportunities with the chances I was given,” he said. “I missed sight of that when I was younger. You don’t realize how few good opportunities come your way. When you get the chance to leave it all out there, go for it. I might not be the guy with the cool physique or half a million followers, but I’m a trier and I’m proud of where I am today.”
Fortunately, he will have a willing dance partner in Thiago Alves on Saturday.
“I’ve lost more than I have won in my last five fights, but I can say everyone of my fights has been exciting. I can say the same thing about Thiago,” declared Means. “I can say if you miss, something will probably happen. So don’t blink.”
Means is coming off a bad knockout loss to Niko Price on March 9. Means had his opponent in a lot of trouble before getting cracked with a punch. The worst part: he snapped his knee and ankle while collapsing.
“I made a tactical error,” Means explained. To that end, he is working on sharpening his focus. “I worked with some guys on the cognitive side of my brain. Recognize and cutting those fractions of seconds down so that I can make better decisions very quickly. That was a punch that happened so fast, hell man, I didn’t see it coming really.”
There is a dark cloud hanging over UFC Washington in the absence of Walt Harris. The rising heavyweight was scheduled to headline opposite Alistair Overeem, but pulled out due to the tragic disappearance and eventual murder of his stepdaughter, Aniah Blanchard. Means re-shared a number of the search effort posts and he admits the horrifying incident struck a cord.
“I immediately went and got one of my daughter’s and hugged her right away. It’s a thing I couldn’t even imagine to put myself into,” Means shared. “It chokes you up when you think about it. I really wish the best for his family.”
Means has openly discussed his rough upbringing. A troubled youth scarred by relationships with ill-equipped stepfather — Means spent time in jail, was shot and developed a morphine addiction. These days, he is being celebrated by his New Mexico community.
“I really take a lot of pride in that. I recently helped volunteer with the Moriarty varsity football team,” he shared. “Being able to relate to the ones who are having a hard time. The world is such a crazy place today. It’s so hard to fit in anywhere really.”
“To be invited by the town of Mountainair and be the parade king over here for the fourth of July parade,” he concluded. “It’s a cool feeling to have people looking up to me and not running away from me. They’re sending their kids up to me to get autographs and take pictures.”