Some say mixed martial arts isn't personal. It's just a sport.
But for some fighters, like UFC on FX 3′s Tim Means, a fight is always going to be personal because it's another man trying to knock him out or submit him while taking money out of his pocket.
Call it motivation, but Means just likes the idea of not liking his opponents as he heads into a fight, and his UFC debut gave him all the fuel he needed for his next bout coming up this weekend in Florida.
When Means debuted at UFC on Fuel TV 1 back in February, he happened to share a locker room with Justin Salas, the fighter he will face at UFC on FX 3. Whether it was intentional or not, Salas' coach, Trevor Wittman, apparently didn't carry himself towards the New Mexico based fighter and his coach Tom Vaughn in what Means would call a respectful manner.
So now they've got a fight on their hands.
“It wasn't so much Justin Salas himself that was actually disrespectful, it was Trevor Wittman, I guess is his coach's name. That dude's looking down at us, the energy I was getting off this guy was like we didn't belong there. He felt like he was on a whole other pedestal,” Means said when speaking to MMAWeekly Radio.
“I'm the kind of guy I take that kind of stuff very personally. I want to make the fight as Jerry Springer as possible.”
Obviously, Means and Salas will meet in the Octagon not the talk show stage to settle their differences, but outside of that he has no problem expressing exactly how he feels about the treatment his team received in Omaha back in February.
According to Means, it wasn't something Wittman said so much as his demeanor that night.
“There was nothing really said, nothing said at all, just the way (he was) real cocky, real arrogant, and it just rubbed me off the wrong way. Salas after his fight came up and shook my hand and whatever, but up to that point it was already personal for me and I had him in my crosshairs,” said Means.
“Trevor Wittman he just rubbed me the wrong way, and I'm going to rub it out on Justin Salas.”
On that night in Omaha, Means won his debut in a unanimous decision over fellow first time UFC fighter Bernardo Magalhaes, while Salas picked up a win over Anton Kuivanen in similar fashion.
Looking only at the fight, Means says he wasn't all that impressed with what Salas brought to the cage that night, and if he's coming into UFC on FX 3 expecting another easy win, he's got another thing coming.
Tim Means plans on earning his respect and maybe even taking some from his coach as well.
“To be blunt, I don't respect Salas at all,” Means stated. “I don't think he brings enough tools to the table to get me to go backwards or to get me out of my comfortable zone. He seems to be an awesome guy, seems to be very respectful, and a good athlete, but at the same time people have given him more hype than he deserves.
“I'm going to go put his fire out.”