Scarface Aldo on Hominick's radar

NEIL SPRINGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:39 PM ET

In the span of seven days, Mark (The Machine) Hominick not only gets a shot at UFC featherweight champion Jose (Scarface) Aldo, but he will also become a new father.

The London, Ont. native and his wife are expecting a baby girl the same week he challenges for the title in the co-main event of UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre.

“This has definitely been something I’ve never experienced before in my life; my life has definitely been flipped upside down,” Hominick said on a UFC conference call. “I just try to take it all in. This is an experience that I’ll look back on and be like, ‘Wow, that was a crazy time.’ Especially with my wife being due within a week of the fight. There’s going to be no other time where life will be this busy, this hectic and with this much buildup.

“I’m just ready to go April 30th and carry all that momentum in to the cage.”

Though there is so much going on in his life right now, Hominick said the support of his wife, family and friends has enabled him to stay focused on Aldo, who is considered one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world.

“Everybody in my life knows the opportunity that’s in front of me, so it’s a huge support system that I have behind me,” Hominick said.

“Fighting in MMA has always been about winning. That’s what drives me. I don’t need something else to motivate me to train. The win is what drives me. The family that I’m working towards is why I do this professionally, but the win is what it’s still about and that is what drives me everyday in the gym.”

In the last couple months, Hominick has gone from being a well-known Canadian fighter to being thrust into the spotlight of the biggest show in MMA history. He’s set to throw out the first pitch Friday at the Toronto Blue Jays’ home game against the Tampa Bay Rays and will be sponsored on fight night by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats.

He admitted all the recent attention has made him feel like an “overnight success” despite competing in almost 30 professional MMA fights.

“This whole event has been such a once in a lifetime opportunity,” Hominick said. “It’s been crazy and I’m just trying to enjoy the ride. It’s such a huge event for Canada and Ontario. The Rogers Centre is such an iconic stadium and to throw the first pitch is going to be a memorable (moment).”

But Hominick will be the first person to tell you he can’t let the new-found fame go to his head. He’s a heavy underdog to dethrone Aldo.

“Jose is definitely deserving of the moniker of being one of the best pound-for-pound fighters in the world and the best in the weight class,” Hominick said. “Everybody goes in there intimidated by what he’s doing and I think I’m going to be the one guy that goes in there and takes a step forward, instead of backward against him.

“I’m going go out there and fight my fight.”

The bout with Hominick will be Aldo’s UFC debut. He was originally scheduled to face Josh (The Fluke) Grispi at UFC 125 in January, but was forced to bow out due to injury.

“There were two things that were bothering me,” Aldo said through his translator, Derek Lee. “The first was in my neck ... I had a little bit of pain in my disc. The main injury was on my right shoulder. I injured it during the Mike Brown fight and after that I still fought Urijah Faber and Manny Gamburyan.

“Especially fighting a wrestler like Urijah Faber — defending the takedowns and all that — it definitely puts a lot of wear on the shoulder. I felt that I had to take some time off to heal that and be back at 100%.”

Aldo said he’s happy to finally show his skills to UFC fans.

“There was really no frustration because I knew I’m in the UFC and that I’d be fighting soon,” Aldo said. “I wanted to fight in January, but it didn’t happen. Those things happen for a reason and now is my time.

“I feel good going into this fight. It’s my first fight in the UFC and even though my belt is on the line already, that’s not a problem for me. In my mind, this is just another fight.”

Hominick is confident he’s covered all areas of his game preparing for Aldo.

“Jose is one of these fighters where he’s not dangerous in one area, he’s dangerous in every area,” Hominick said. “So it’s not like you have to bring in just one sparring partner. You’ve got to bring in the best in every aspect, from the standup, to the clinch, to the ground. So that’s just the biggest thing — make sure I’m sparring with the best guys in every aspect, as opposed to just one-dimensional guys.”


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