Tim Means’ career is ticking down, and although he is proud of the legacy he will one day leave behind, “Dirty Bird” sees one last path to a Welterweight title shot. And that path goes through Danny Roberts and UFC Vegas 29 this weekend (Sat., June 19, 2021) inside UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Means (31-12-1) meets Roberts (17-5) at UFC Vegas 29, which will be headlined by “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung vs. Dan Ige and air on ESPN2 / ESPN+. Riding his first win streak in five years, “Dirty Bird” is poised to make another run at contender status.
Means, 37, spoke with MMAmania.com about his impending retirement 17 years into his professional career.
“I’ve [fought] at the highest level of mixed martial arts for a long time. I’ve accomplished that goal. I would like to get a title shot,” he asserted. “I have to finish Mr. Roberts here on June 19. I got to finish him and get my third straight win. I can get a top 10 guy. Stringing these fights together, I’ve been hit-and-miss. Lost a couple of close split decisions that I thought I won. But I can’t be calling out the right guys if I’m not chaining wins together. I’ve always believed you have to earn it to start asking for it.
“I’ve had those opportunities and I’ve fallen a little bit short, but I think I’m getting better as we’re getting deeper into this age,” he continued. “Hell, I was 25 when I hit puberty so ...”
Some fighters are accused of being gun-shy or risk-averse, but those critiques have never applied to “Dirty Bird”. Means has 24 stoppage wins and seven stoppage losses in his career. He credits that battle-tested grit not to a coach or sparring partner, but to his mother.
“Raised in a trailer park, I got that trailer park trash going on,” he chuckled. “I was taught, ‘If you’re going to work for something, you go 100 percent for it.’ We put a lot of time and effort — and all fighters put a lot of time and effort into weight cuts and time in the gym and critiquing their technique. There is no reason to go in there and make it a sparring match. I probably have to give that credit to my mom. She made me duck a lot and hide from slaps. Just kidding mom, I love you. She made me a tough kid and strong-willed. So gotta give credit to mom for the fun fights.”
UFC Vegas 29 takes place at UFC Apex in Las Vegas, Nevada, on Sat., June 19, 2021. The ESPN2 / ESPN+ card is headlined by “Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung vs. Dan Ige in a ranked Featherweight fight.
Remember that MMAmania.com will deliver LIVE round-by-round, blow-by-blow coverage of the entire UFC Vegas 29 fight card right here, starting with the ESPN2 / ESPN+ “Prelims” matches, which are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m. ET, then the remaining main card balance on ESPN2 / ESPN+ at 7 p.m. ET.
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