Injuries can happen in the strangest ways sometimes.
It could just be putting a foot down and in an instant an ankle or a knee may pop out of joint. For UFC lightweight Tim Means, he never imagined in a million years the type of injury that would force him out of his last fight at UFC on Fox 5.
Literally just hours away from weighing in to face Abel Trujillo in Seattle, Means was doing what a lot of fighters were doing that day—cutting weight.
What happened next, no one could believe—least of all Tim Means.
"I woke up early like usual at 5:30 and got down to the sauna," Means explained when speaking to Bleacher Report. "The sauna wasn't hot enough so I jumped in the Jacuzzi. My teammate Donald Sanchez went and turned up the sauna. I jumped out of the Jacuzzi, jumped back in the sauna and started to sit down and get comfortable and as I laid down the sauna still wasn't hot enough.
"So I sat up and went to jump up abruptly to go check the temperature and turn it up a little bit more, and I just missed my hand placement. Wound up hitting my head off the corner of the bench and at first I thought somebody ran in and cheap shotted me. I got all fuzzy. I've never knocked myself out or went unconscious, but everything did get warm and fuzzy. I felt the back of my head and I had a pretty big lump behind my ear."
The crack to the back of his head left Means feeling dizzy and disoriented, which meant he was going to have to see the doctor. Just a few hours later, Means was ruled medically unable to continue, and he had to be pulled from the UFC on Fox 5 card.
Overall, it was a rough few months for Means because he was also supposed to fight on the UFC 151 card in early September. That show was cancelled altogether after the main event bout between Jon Jones and Dan Henderson had to be scrapped when Henderson suffered a knee injury just days away from the fight.
Now with his return to action set for Saturday night at UFC on Fox 7, Means is more than happy to forget the last few months of 2012 ever happened.
"It was heartbreaking," Means explained. "I'm extremely happy to put that time behind me and look forward to this next fight."
Means says that instead of sitting around and sulking about the fact he didn't have a fight, he put his frustration to use back in the gym. Training under coach Tom Vaughn in New Mexico, Means pushed harder everyday to get better in the areas he was perceived to have weaknesses.
Now 10 months after his last trip to the Octagon, Means is happy to get back to the business of fighting.
"No looking back, I just have to keep my head down and keep moving forward," Means said. "The slip and fall in Seattle is a blessing in disguise. It couldn't have come at a worse time for me, but it also couldn't have come at a better time. I'm letting it motivate me and push me forward."
This weekend in San Jose, Calif., Means takes on former Strikeforce lightweight contender Jorge Masvidal in a battle of two very hungry competitors. Masvidal has also been on the shelf for an extended period of time and wants to impress in his UFC debut.
Means doesn't plan on allowing Masvidal much of a celebration for his first UFC fight. It may end up being a pretty rude welcome, actually, once Means finishes with him on Saturday night.
"I just really believe nobody's really gotten in Masvidal's face and gone after him. He's a good counter puncher and he's good at keeping fights at his pace. I'm going to see if I can't get him into deeper waters and drowning him," said Means. "It's going to have to be about getting him out of his realm and making him uncomfortable."
The sauna that did him in at UFC on Fox 5 was definitely one of the stranger moments in Means' professional career, but he's seen much worse. His plans now are to stay healthy and as busy as the UFC will allow him in 2013.
"This is the longest break I've had being out 10 months," said Means. "When I was in prison, I was fighting on a regular basis and when I got out prison in 2009, I ran my record to 22-1-1 to this point, so I'm staying extremely busy. I'm ready to get in there and leave everything in the cage."
Damon Martin is a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and all quotes were obtained first hand unless otherwise noted.
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