The Dirty Bird is back.
New Mexico’s Tim Means will end his eight-month absence from the octagon on Aug. 20 as he has agreed to a welterweight fight at UFC 202 in Las Vegas, Nev., against Sean Strickland.
Means (25-7-1), who trains at Albuquerque’s FIT-NHB gym, has signed an agreement with “Tarzan” Strickland (18-1) to join the pay-per-view event.
“I’m here to be in fun fights,” Means said. “Sean Strickland was thrown on the table and he’s had 20 fights. He’s an old King of the Cage guy, where I come from. It’s going to be a fun fight and I get paid the same no matter who I fight. I’m going to win the fight and then get back in to arguing to see (Donald “Cowboy”) Cerrone or see some of these top 10 guys.”
Earlier this month, Means agreed to a six-month suspension from competition, retroactive to February, after having tested positive for a banned substance in an out-of-competition drug test. That test cost him a shot at fighting Cerrone, the Jackson-Wink trained fighter.
The suspension was one the 32-year-old Means accepted with mixed emotions.
“I proved my case,” Means said. “I didn’t do that with opinions and speculation, I did it with facts. … But I also didn’t want to possibly be fighting this for another eight months or however long.”
The United States Anti-Doping Agency confirmed the positive test was the result of unintentionally using a supplement containing Ostarine, which was not listed on a supplement Means took.
Means last fight was an impressive second round KO of John Howard at UFC Fight Night 80 in Las Vegas. He has won five of his past six fights. Strickland, who fights out of Riverside, Calif., is 4-1 since joining the UFC with three consecutive victories.
“From what I’ve seen of him, this is going to be a fun fight with definite Fight of the Night potential if he comes ready,” Means said.
The fight is the second on a four-fight contract Means has with the UFC.
“If I learned anything from the break,” Means said, “it’s that I enjoy to compete. I enjoy talking with the fans. I enjoy getting ready to represent my state and my team. I’m going to enjoy this moment and enjoy getting my hand raised in Las Vegas.”
About an hour after the news initially broke on the Journal, Means confirmed it on Twitter.
— tim means (@MeansTim) June 30, 2016
On Wednesday, the UFC confirmed Albuquerque’s Carlos Condit will also end a long layoff from the octagon. Condit, who trains at Albuquerque’s Jackson-Wink MMA will fights Demian Maia at UFC 202 on the same card in Las Vegas.
Condit’s last fight was a split decision loss to Robbie Lawler in January.
KOTC: Means’ FIT-NHB teammate, and more importantly wife, Brenda Gonzales-Means, also has a big fight coming up. Gonzales-Means fights Pam Sorenson for the King of the Cage women’s interim flyweight title on July 30 at the Lake of the Torches Resort and Casino in Lac du Flambeau, Wis.