MMA, wrestling share gym

MORRIS DALLA COSTA, SUN MEDIA

, Last Updated: 9:40 AM ET

It's appropriate the site where new bodies are made used to be the place where old bodies got fixed.

The training centre will likely become the focus of one of the fastest growing sports in the world when you consider the guys running it.

The building used to house a car body shop. Now it's home to the Adrenaline Training Centre. The facility is a big warehouse covered with wrestling mats. In one corner is a mixed martial arts octagon. In the middle is a full-sized ring and next to it is an area with a dozen heavy bags.

Move over about 10 yards and there's the Harry Geris memorial wrestling area and a gym with fitness machines, striking dummies and two full-sized tractor tires used for strength training.

It's the place of dreams for Mark Hominick, Sam Stout and Chris Horodecki, locals who made and are making their mark in the explosion that is mixed martial arts.

"This is what we always wanted to do," Hominick said. "When I look back when I started, I never really did it for the money. I just did it because I loved training and the competition. I knew it was going to be popular but I never thought it would be like this."

Hominick is 26 and has been doing it since he was 13. Stout is 24 and Horodecki is the youngest of the partners at 21. All started with Shawn Tompkins at Team Tompkins.

Team Tompkins still exists but the Tompkins gym is done in London. Tompkins used to divide his time between London and Las Vegas, where he trains fighters, but time constraints forced Tompkins to move to south of the border permanently. Adrenaline is an extension of the Team Tompkins gym.

Tompkins trains all three fighters. They spent four to six weeks with Tompkins training in Las Vegas before their bouts.

Tompkins is big time. He's the head trainer at Xtreme Couture, the organization run by MMA legend Randy Couture. Tompkins trained Couture for his bout with Brock Lesnar, perhaps the biggest bout in MMA history.

"It's a take on what he always wanted," Hominick said. "Any instructor in martial arts wants his students to take over what he does and make it better. He's happy with what we've done."

In 12 years of MMA, Hominick has captured the TKO featherweight championship nine times and went undefeated in the Ultimate Fighting Championships (UFC). He is the current IKF North American kickboxing champion.

He was supposed to fight this weekend in the massive Affliction card in Las Vegas, but he's been struggling with pneumonia since early January and can't fight.

Horodecki is also with Affliction and he, too, was supposed to participate. He has a bulging disc and is sidelined indefinitely.

"I don't like to take a day off, let alone weeks," Hominick said. "Packing up my bags and leaving Las Vegas was really hard but whenever I did anything strenuous, it felt like I was breathing through a straw."

Stout is with the UFC organization. He's had some high-profiled television bouts. He is the TKO world lightweight mixed martial arts champion with more than five title defences.

The gym opened in September and broke even.

"Since January, it's been really good," Hominick said.

It's been especially successful attracting sponsors. The ring and the octagon were paid for by MMA Training.com. The gym leases space to Fight Planet, a company that sells fighting paraphernalia and clothing.

"We have good relationships with people," Hominick said. "The wrestling club, the relationship with Harry Geris has been fantastic. They were having a hard time getting a location because not a lot of schools are keen to have an outside wrestling club. We gave them the space. We use the mat. They love being here and we love having them."

The gym is located on Dundas Street in the east end behind Home Hardware. Its website is adrenalinemma.ca.

"Ninety per cent of what we do is fitness training," Hominick said. "We have a lot of women come in. The London Knights do some work here.

"It's the right time to do it. The sport is blowing up. For London to have three guys not only competing, but competing successfully on an international and national level is great. Before the gym was run for fighters. Now we're instructing, we do fitness, we pass on what we know and, as fighters, we still have a nice place to train."

As it stands now, the sport is indeed "blowing up." It's tough to get a seat in any bar or restaurant on the night of a UFC or other fight card.


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