Thursday, December 1, 2022

Tim Means: Saw “Where I Didn’t Wanna Be” While In Prison

Ahead of his co-main event bout at UFC Vegas 63, Tim Means is taking some time to reflect on how differently his life could have turned out.

“The Dirty Bird” is a longtime fan favorite, but finding success in MMA wasn’t always a sure thing for him. Means has been open about the difficulties he faced in his youth, including spending time in prison during the early part of his career.

Speaking at the UFC Vegas 63 media day, the 38-year-old revealed that he recently returned to his hometown of Moriarty, New Mexico to do some coaching and assist with public works projects. Given that he spent his younger years getting into trouble there, Means admits that reintroducing himself to the town wasn’t the easiest task.

“There was no open arms,” Means said with a laugh. “It took me eight years to even get a judge to take me serious to get back in my daughter’s lives. Now I have custody of my daughters, sole custody of my kids. Calling home on a Thanksgiving from a jail cell to talk to my nephew and him realizing where I was at really just set the tone for me.

“And I get people talking when I talk about prison or whatever, saying I went to county jail. No, I had a judge send me to prison on two misdemeanors. I had two days shy of two years and I had to go to the Department of Corrections. My prison number is 66689. So it wasn’t no county jail or nothin’.”

“I Didn’t Have Clarity”

“The Dirty Bird” initially joined the UFC in 2012 and went 2-2 during a run that included a decision loss to Jorge Masvidal.

A pair of first-round finishes in Legacy FC earned him a return to the UFC in 2014, and since then Means has established a reputation as one of the promotion’s most entertaining fighters.

The 38-year-old has continued performing at a remarkably high level after nearly 20 years in the sport, including a recent three-fight win streak before being submitted by Kevin Holland in the second round of their fight in June.

Even after all he’s achieved in his career, Means will still be the first one to admit that he hasn’t figured everything out yet. That being said, he certainly feels better about where he is now than during the time he spent in prison.

Means has long been known as one of the most exciting fighters on the UFC roster. (Amber Searls-USA TODAY Sports)

“I got to go see the life that I was living and see where I didn’t wanna be. It’s a humbling feeling when you’re not able to go to bed when you want, not able to go to the refrigerator, get orange juice or whatever when you want…I didn’t have responsibility, I didn’t have clarity, I didn’t have nothin’ that I cared about at those times. And whenever my daughter was born, my first daughter, it changed everything about my thinking. I’m not perfect, I still do things wrong. I still have a temper and try to figure it out, but I do communicate with my family a whole lot better. “

Means will face Max Griffin in the co-main event of UFC Vegas 63 in a matchup that many fans are hoping will provide fireworks. Following that welterweight contest, the main event will feature a matchup between top featherweight contenders Calvin Kattar and Arnold Allen.

What do you think of Means’ comments about how his time in prison helped to mold him into the person that he is today?