Means-Cerrone may just have to wait (forever) - Albuquerque Journal

Means-Cerrone may just have to wait (forever)

The first thing Tim Means did in a Wednesday phone interview was to figuratively pour a bucket of ice water on the hoped-for premise of a newspaper article.

The question was this: Given that Means and his East Mountain neighbor Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone are fighting separate bouts on the same UFC card on Saturday in Austin, Texas; given that Means and Cerrone were scheduled to fight each other in 2016, but did not; given that Cerrone has said he intends to fight just once more after his fight Saturday against Joe Lauzon; wouldn’t Means love to be the guy Cerrone fights in his swan song later this year?

Tim Means is seen after a win over Thiago Alves after his mixed martial arts bout at UFC Fight Night, Saturday, December 7, 2019, in Washington, D.C. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan)

Well, no. Not so much.

“I think that ship’s come and gone,” Means said. “… Right now I’ve got to deal with (Kevin Holland, his Saturday opponent) and go from there.”

But Means (32-12-1), while dismissive of the Cerrone line of questioning, had plenty to say about Holland (22-7), a Fort Worth, Texas fighter who typically doesn’t stop talking trash when the fight starts.

“He brings a lot of talk into the cage, and the more he talks, people think the more comfortable he is,” Means said. “But I think he just talks to talk. It doesn’t have to make any sense or add up to anything.

“So I’m gonna get this guy talking, get him out of his comfort zone and pressure him, outwork him.”

If you really, really want to get Means talking, though, ask him about his work as wrestling coach with his wife, Brenda Gonzales Means, at their alma mater, Moriarty High School.

“We started a junior club out there,” he said. “… So we’ve got a feeder program going on, a bunch of little kids that are always fun to deal with.”

For the older kids, though, the ones already in the high school program, it’s not going to be all fun and games.

“I’m looking for those middle-schoolers and those high schoolers to get in the (wrestling) room and be more consistent,” he said. “… If you want to place at state, get your ass in the room. If you don’t want to place at state, keep doing what you’re doing, because it shows. So work your butts off, athletes.”

Working his butt off is what Means, 38, has been doing since he began his MMA career 18 years ago. Is he, like Cerrone, contemplating the end?

Again, no. Not so much.

“As long as I can put in the training camps and cut the weight, I’ll go as long as my body will let me go,” he said. “But I know my window’s closing, and I’m just trying to take advantage of the opportunities that come my way and just do the best I can with it.”

COWBOY RIDES AGAIN: That’s provided, of course, that Cerrone is not once again a victim of food poisoning. Bad tacos, it was reported, caused the postponement of his scheduled May 7 fight against Lauzon in Phoenix.

Donald “Cowboy” Cerrone poses during a weigh-in for UFC 246 in 2020 in Las Vegas. He is scheduled to fight on a Saturday UFC Fight Night card. (AP Photo/John Locher)

Once again this week, Cerrone has said he plans to fight just once more after Saturday, giving him a total of 50 appearances under the Zuffa (first WEC, then UFC) banner.

Cerrone said that, for No. 50, he would prefer to face another veteran like Lauzon rather than a young up-and-comer.

Again, wouldn’t Means, his fellow New Mexican, fit that description?

Not really, Means said. Again.

“I think there’ve been plenty of chances on (Cerrone’s) side to say yes. … I think a fight with Cerrone has come and gone.”

Their scheduled fight in 2016 came and went because Means tested positive for a banned substance beforehand. Though the United States Anti-Drug Agency concurred with Means’ contention that the positive test was the unintentional consequence of having ingested a tainted supplement, he nevertheless was suspended for six months.

MAKING HISTORY: If Cerrone beats Lauzon on Saturday, he’ll pass Jim Miller and Andrei Arlovski, his former teammate at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA with 24 UFC victories – the most in the organization’s history.

Should he get a performance or fight-of-the-night bonus in the process, it would be his 19th – passing Charles Oliveira for the most such awards earned.

Home » From the newspaper » Means-Cerrone may just have to wait (forever)


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