Hominick is UFC 129's forgotten Canadian

DAN ILIKA, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 8:50 PM ET

With so much hype surrounding Georges St. Pierre fighting on Ontario’s first ever UFC card, many are overlooking the other Canadian stepping into the octagon on April 30.

Mark (The Machine) Hominick of nearby Thamesford, Ont., will be fighting in North America’s largest ever UFC card when he takes on featherweight champion Jose Aldo at the Rogers Centre this spring.

“This is the dream I’ve been thinking about since I’ve been 13 years old,” Hominick said.

“This is my passion ... This is the culmination of 10 years as a pro and I’m ready to do it on April 30.”

Despite being close to home, though, Hominick still feels like the sleeper.

“I’m the underdog so the pressure is on him,” Hominick said. “This is his UFC debut (and) I’ve fought three times in the UFC.”

Hominick, 28, has been impressive in his first three UFC bouts, holding a 3-0 record and beating his last opponent just 88 seconds into the fight.

It was that last fight against George Roop that ended almost as it began that earned Hominick his title shot against the Brazilian Aldo.

“This is my tenth year now fighting as a professional and to be on the first live UFC card in the whole province fighting for the belt–you couldn’t paint a better picture,” Hominick said. “This is the biggest opportunity of my life and I’m just enjoying the ride right now.”

The fight marks the first time the featherweight title has ever been on the line in the UFC as the organization took the weight class on when it absorbed the World Extreme Cagefighting (WEC).

“This is the inaugural (featherweight) belt, this is the first time the UFC has ever put this belt on the line,” Hominick said. “I’m in the prime of my career (and) I couldn’t ask for a better time to get this title shot.

“Mentally I’m the strongest I’ve ever been and physically I’m strongest. I’m ready.”

With an anticipated attendance of more than 42,000 people on fight night Hominick said he thrives on the type of fan pressure that comes with performing in front of such a large crowd.

“I like fighting under the bright lights,” Hominick said. “I feel I’ve had my best performances when I’ve done that. You know, I fought the No.1 contender of the UFC in 2006 when I went up a weight class, I was the five-to-one underdog and I finished him in the second round, so I feel like (that’s) when I have my best performances.”

Hominick faces a tough opponent in Aldo, as the 24-year old who fights out of Rio de Janeiro is considered one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

Aldo, who holds a professional record of 18-1, has not lost a sanctioned fight since 2005 and went undefeated during his time in the WEC (8-0).

In order to win Hominick will need to counter Aldo’s strong ground game and his incredible stamina.

According to Hominick he will train lightly over the next few weeks before he starts preparations for the big match, which include a two month training regimen.

“March 1 is when I’ll say full-out training camp will begin,” Hominick said.

“My trainer is gonna come up from Las Vegas so I don’t have to travel so I’ll be close to home.”

While he may not be the most heralded Canadian fighter heading into the event, Hominick said fighting on Canadian soil is a great honour to him and being somewhat of a hometown boy means a lot.

“Since Ontario wasn’t sanctioned my first 10 fights were in Quebec-based promotions,” Hominick said. “Now it’s finally going to spill over into Ontario and the fans are going to get to appreciate the years of work that we’ve done.”

Regarded as one of the fastest growing sports in the world, Hominick said it’s time for it to truly take over the province.

“The UFC’s going to topple all the areas of Ontario,” Hominick said. “Every city right now is vying for it.”

UFC 129 is set for April 30 at the Rogers Centre, with tickets going on sale to the public Saturday, Feb. 12 at 10 a.m.


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