January 16, 2011
Hominick one fight from shot at title
By MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency
LONDON, ONT. - The pot at the end of the rainbow is blindingly bright and heavy.
But Thamesford’s Mark Hominick doesn’t want to even think about it.
His focus is doing what he needs to do to get a shot at the pot. And that is win.
Hominick will take on George Roop at UFC Fight Night 23 Saturday. UFC president Dana White has said that a win over Ropp will make Hominick the No. 1 contender for the featherweight title held by Jose Aldo.
Adding glitter to the pot is the potential title bout could be at UFC 129 in Toronto, the first UFC card in Ontario.
“I’m not even looking at that,” Hominick said from Las Vegas, where he is training. “This is a going to be a tough match and I’ve been training hard.”
There is not much that distracts Hominick when he’s training. His nickname is the Machine not only for the way he fights but also for how he trains.
After struggling with illness and injuries the last few years, Hominick is healthy. In his last fight, Hominick won a split decision over Leonard Garcia in September. But during that bout, he injured a hand and that caused the cancellation of his scheduled Jan. 1 fight against Aldo at UFC 125. But Aldo was also injured and couldn’t fight on the Jan. 1 card.
Hominick competes in a tough, vicious sport. A well-spoken, erudite individual who studied business at university, he operates Adrenaline Training Centre in London along with fellow UFC fighter Sam Stout and Chris Horodecki.
As focused as he is, he can’t hide the excitement of what potentially can happen Saturday.
“I am so eager to get in there and prove why I am the No. 1 contender in the division,” Hominick said. “I know the title shot is there I just have to go out and prove it. I am 100%. I’m in the best shape of my life and I’m chomping at the bit.”
Hominick leaves Las Vegas for Fort Hood in Texas on Tuesday. Right now, he’s working with trainer Shawn Tompkins, who established Team Tompkins in London before moving to Las Vegas to expand his fighter and training base.
His fighters, who include Stout, travel to Las Vegas in the weeks leading up to their bouts for final preparation.
“He’s ready,” Tompkins said. “Everyone knows how hard Mark works and he’s in the best shape he’s ever been in.”
Tompkins is also avoiding looking ahead but he knows what a spot on the first UFC card in Ontario would mean to Hominick and Team Tompkins.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Tompkins said. “It’s funny that I moved to Las Vegas so I could pursue this business and now finally I could do it in Ontario.”
Tompkins said there are a slew of cards in the making, including one at the John Labatt Centre in London that may feature Horodecki.
But for now, there is only one target Tompkins and Hominick and aiming for . . . George Roop.
Roop is no stranger to either of them. Tompkins trained Roop, and Hominick and Roop were training partners. In a recent interview, Roop said he still considers himself a member of Team Tompkins and he will return after this fight because Tompkins is “one of the best coaches in the world.”
“We know each other and I’ve watched a lot of film,” Hominick said. “For a guy in this weight class he’s tall so we know what he have to do to eliminate his height advantage.”
Roop is 6-foot-1, while Hominick is 5-foot-8. “I think I have technique and skill set on him but a guy that tall is just awkward to fight,” he said.
Hominick believes he has arrived at his prime.
“This is the best I’ve felt,” he said. “The last two years is when I’ve really come into my own with my strength and with my mindset going into the fight. I’m going into that career-mode when I know this is my opportunity, my title run and that’s how I am treating it.”
All the long hours, tough matches and struggles, continues to drive Hominick.
“This is the culmination of my dedication,” he said. “Ten years I’ve been fighting pro. This is what I’ve worked for all my life. I’m 28 and I’ve been training for this for 16 years. It’s rewarding just to know I’ve stuck it out through all years and all the ups and downs and it’s in my grasp now.”
That would be the full pot at the end of the rainbow.