Josh Thomson made headlines leading up to his fight against Benson Henderson by saying that his training camp was the worst of his career. Many members of the media admired the honesty, but questioned how a rough camp would affect him in the fight. Well, Thomson lost a split decision, but he still looked great in the bout. Now, Legacy FC welterweight Tim Means can use Thomson as a source of inspiration.

Means will look to turn a rough camp of his own into similar results as Thomson, minus the loss of course.

“Preparation has been tough. It has been a long camp,” Means revealed in an exclusive interview with The MMA Corner. “The Dirty Bird” is hopeful that he can overcome those issues against Artenas Young in the headliner of Legacy FC 27, which takes place Friday night in Houston and airs live on AXS TV.

During the camp, Means came down with a case of strep throat. He also suffered little nagging injuries. Yet, he still feels like he is going to come into this fight ready to go.

“It’s better to have training tough than to have it easy,” Means said. “I’ve always been taught that the harder the camp is, the easier the fight is.”

Means (Andy Hemingway/Sherdog)

Means (Andy Hemingway/Sherdog)

This will be the second fight for Means since he was let go from the UFC following back-to-back decision losses to Jorge Masvidal and Danny Castillo. Two things plagued Means during his UFC run, where he fought at 155 pounds. Means had some trouble getting the nod from judges because, while he was very active, he still spent a lot of time on his back.

“The judging in mixed martial arts is still at the amateur levels,” Means explained. “You can dirty box when you are standing. How come you can’t dirty box when you are on your back?

“A lot of these wrestlers are just coming in and hanging on, laying and praying. To me, that’s not fighting.”

With his outspoken stance, Means even has some ideas on how the judging problem could be fixed in his sport.

“When did we get away from scoring strikes as a way to win a fight?” Means asked. “I see these junior wrestler kids every weekend, and they do more for stalling at the small level. We are at the elite level of mixed martial arts and these All-American wrestlers can just hang on and not even throw punches. It just goes to show that these judges are just silly when it comes to what they are looking at.”

Another thing that proved to be an obstacle for “The Dirty Bird” under the Zuffa banner was the weight class at which he was competing. Means fought in the UFC lightweight division, but he has been fighting at 170 pounds since he left the company. Means feels that a 163-pound division would be ideal for him, but welterweight is a much better fit than lightweight.

“I was taking fights on short notice and ultimately tearing myself down,” Means said of his time in the UFC. “I needed the money, so I took the fights.”

The veteran was also involved in one of the most notorious bout cancellations in UFC history. Means slipped and fell in the sauna while cutting weight. The athletic commission examined him after the fall and wouldn’t clear him for the fight the next day. It isn’t one of the prouder moments of his career.

“I don’t feel bad about it. It was something out of my control,” Means said. “It’s just a lesson learned.”

Means (Andy Hemingway/Sherdog)

Means (Andy Hemingway/Sherdog)

Means could have even remained in the UFC after that incident and the two straight losses. He understood the UFC’s skepticism in him after he missed weight. He could have tried to move up to welterweight, but he didn’t want to wait very long for a fight. At this stage in his career, the 29-year-old isn’t necessarily concerned with titles and things of that nature. He views fighting as a job, and as such, it serves two primary purposes for Means.

“Pay my bills and take care of my dogs,” he said.

Means wouldn’t rule out a return to the UFC, or even Bellator or the World Series of Fighting. There is but one deciding factor on where he will spend the rest of his career.

“I’ll fight where the money is,” Means admitted.

Means is happy with his current deal with Legacy FC. The promotion offered him a good deal, one that includes perks.

“I’m ready to win a bonus check,” he said.

Means will look to do that against his opponent, Artenas Young. However, he knows that to get that ‘W’ he will have to overcome some of the things that have plagued him in the past.

“I expect he’s gonna wrestle,” Means said. “He’s going to try and hang on for dear life.”

Means also expects his pressure style of fighting to play a big role in the outcome.

“He’s going to run backwards and not really fight,” Means explained. “I don’t think his gas tank is very good. The first few minutes of the fight, he seems to have decent power. But that fades consistently.”

Means knows at some point over the possible 15 minutes Young is going to put him on his back. Yet, he will no longer let that deter him in his quest to make his money. That bonus check is there for the taking, and he knows exactly how he is going to get it.

“I’m going to submit Artenas Young in the second round with a triangle choke.”

Tim would like to thank his team and coaches at NHB. He would also like to thank sponsors TKO Vapor, Sign Source, The Library, Carinasellshomes.com, Max Muscle Rio Rancho, B&R Construction, Ri Yue Massage and Atomic Custom. Finally, he thanks his mom and dad for always being there for him, and his fiance, Brenda, for always dealing with him. Follow Means on Twitter: @MeansTim

About The Author

Trey Downey
Staff Writer

A Central Florida native, Trey Downey's interest in MMA came after a trip to Blockbuster and the rental of UFC 47 on VHS. He has been blogging about the sport since 2011 and hosted a podcast called The TD Experience focusing on football and MMA (touchdowns and takedowns). Trey studied radio and television at the University of Central Florida and will soon be attending the Connecticut School of Broadcasting. Trey enjoys watching sports, pro wrestling and is an avid runner.