January 26, 2011
Fighter puts artistry into mixed martial arts
By MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency
With a half-dozen thunderous right and left hands, Mark Hominick punched his way onto mixed martial arts’ international stage.
The featherweight mixed martial artist from Thamesford is now playing with the big boys.
Hominick will fight for the UFC featherweight title on the first UFC card in Ontario. He will likely fight in the cards’ co-main event at the Rogers Centre April 30. The other will include Quebec’s George St. Pierre.
Hominick will fight champion Jose Aldo. He earned the shot when he dominated George Roop last weekend in the UFC’s Fight for the Troops in Fort Hood, Texas.
Hominick, a big-time striker, knocked down the lanky Roop several times. The referee stopped the bout 1:28 into the first round.
Hominick will be in the UFC spotlight for the next few months. Life has already begun to speed up for the 28-year old.
After arriving home from Fort Hood, Sunday at midnight, he left the next day unexpectedly for Chicago for a UFC magazine shoot featuring the Toronto card.
His flight back was delayed Tuesday. He has already had multiple interview requests that will only increase as the day of the Toronto card draws closer.
“It’s been unbelievable,” Hominick said. “I really don’t even know what’s going on. Look at my calendar. I have five interviews today alone.
“I appreciate all the support I’ve gotten. Since I’ve been back, my family and everyone wants to get together to say ‘Hi’ so we’ve just decided to have an open house so everyone can drop in.”
Hominick has worked to get to this level. But it’s not something he ever anticipated doing for a living.
“It’s something I wanted to do all my life because I loved it but I never thought it would be a profession for me. Now when I see where it’s got it’s great but I did it before just because I enjoyed it.”
Hominick has been a part of the mixed martial arts explosion.
“I’ve tried not to think about being part of history when we fight in Toronto. But no matter what, you realize how big it’s really going to be.”
Overnight success has been been a long time coming for Hominick. He’s been with Team Tompkins for more than 10 years, beginning his training on a second-floor gym established by Shawn Tompkins in the King’s Inn building.
He’s been dedicated to fitness and the sport professionally for 12 years and is in his prime years.
“Mark deserves all the recognition he gets,” said Leo Loucks, a former world kickboxing champion who is helping Mark with his striking. “He works hard and he has a champions’ mentality.”
Hominick is one of the nice guys out of the ring. But when it comes time to train and fight, that’s a different story.
Loucks says that’s part of the mentality a champion needs.
“You have to be nasty in this business,” Loucks said. “Outside the ring, Mark is the nicest guy. But when he begins to train and gets in the ring, he flips a switch. He’s nasty, nasty, nasty.”
Now during his final preparation for bouts, he travels to Las Vegas a month before his bouts to train with Tompkins who has established his gym and a fighters’ house.
Hominick fought in various organizations. In the meantime, he established Adrenaline Training Centre in London along with teammates Sam Stout and Chris Horodecki.
With the bout in Toronto April 30, the training regimen will change for Hominick.
His wife is due to deliver their first child May 6. Rather than Hominick going to Las Vegas for the last month of training, Tompkins has agreed to come to Hominick in London.
“Shawn is coming up here for the last month which is a great thing for him to do so I don’t have to leave my wife,” Hominick said. “Shawn’s going to rent a house here and we’re going to bring in fighters who fight like Aldo. At that point, what’s important is getting good sparring partners.”
Hominick got his big chance when the UFC merged with the WEC putting him in the running for a title bout in the lightweight division.
“Aldo is the champ and he cleaned up the division of everyone . . . except me,” Hominick said. “This is a first in UFC. Not only is it a first in Toronto but it will be the first lightweight championship bout.”
And another opportunity for Hominick to punch his way into history.