This Saturday, March 9, UFC on ESPN +4 takes place in Wichita, Kansas. Tim Means (28-10-1) squares off with Niko “The Hybrid” Price. The welterweight contest is expected to be an explosive encounter, as the two have combined for 35 finishes out of 40 victories.
Talking about the match-up, “The Dirty Bird” Means says, “I think he’s (Niko Price) well-rounded. I think his aggression is one of his best attributes. I think a lot of his tools play into my strengths and I fight better when guys try to come after me and try to hurt me.”
After Means’ last fight, a TKO of Ricky Rainey, the Fit NHB product called out several fighters; Niko Price was not among the names he had mentioned.
Did the call-outs achieve their intentions?
“It put me into the forefront, that I wanted to get into a fight. I got a tough guy in Niko (Price) who wants to fight. The UFC is keeping me busy and that’s the main thought with calling people out. I see all these guys on social media calling out everyone in the division, my name is never brought up and then whenever I’m trying to get fights, it is crickets. Everybody hides in the shadows. I know I’m not one of the higher ranked guys, but I’m one of the most dangerous guys in the division, and it shows. People give me respect, but I don’t need respect. I need dollar signs. I need money in my bank account. I need to feed myself and my family. We all need that. Why don’t we just sign on the dotted line and make fights happen. I’m happy Niko (Price) stepped up. They offered him the fight first. He said yes and they sent me a contract, let’s get after it.”
Means had thought there was a chance a meeting with Price could happen in the future. “I saw him in the horizon. I see that where both two aggressive guys and thought we’d wind up meeting each other. I didn’t know it be this soon.”
Price is coming off a first-round knockout loss to Abdul Razak Alhassan. Means said, “He (Niko Price) didn’t really show his ability. I thought he got in a gun fight with a guy that hits hard. It doesn’t really look like Niko (Price) has real good defense standing up, seems like he runs into things. He gets hit with a lot of things. I’m hoping to exploit that.”
“I see him being really slow, awkward, and kind of robotic. On his feet he (Niko Price) throws really hard. He goes to his open side than jumps back to his back side and just starts going and throwing a bunch of things. We have to be ready for those blitzes. But then again, I have a very good ground game. I been trying to utilize it in practice and utilized it in my last fight. We hope to throw some wrench’s in his gears where hethinks the fight is going to be easy. Hopefully knock him clean out, you never know.”
Taking about his last win, Means showed off a ground game we hadn’t seen from “The Dirty Bird.”
“I didn’t want to force anything or jump into something that wasn’t available. I just let it I come to me. I thought Ricky Rainey was fast, long, and he had some good things on his feet. But once I grabbed a hold of him, it showed my strength and conditioning was working. Working at Functional Fury with Dewayne Davis. I know what I’m doing in those positions. We just have to get there and let all the chips fall into place without forcing things to happen. Once I grabbed a hold of Ricky Rainey and got on top, it was downhill from there. I could hear him (Ricky Rainey) grunting and trying g to move around. I’m accurate with my hands. I don’t have to cock way back to land big shots. I can land good powerful shots from a short range and it showed in that fight.”
As for a prediction about his fight against Niko Price Means said, “I can guarantee it’s going to be a violent fight. We’re going to have two aggressive guys meeting in the middle. Neither of us like taking a lot of steps backwards. I don’t know about knockouts and finishes, but I’m going to go get my hand raised and win some people over.”