November 29, 2011
Hominick's body is a MachineLondon mixed martial arts star will have his friend and coach in his corner Dec. 10 at the ACC
By MORRIS DALLA COSTA, QMI Agency
LONDON, ONT. - The last time we saw Mark Hominick he was walking out of the octagon at the Rogers Centre with more than 50,000 fans standing and cheering.
The London, Ont., mixed martial arts star had a goose egg on his forehead, having come through a five-round donnybrook against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, a fight people talked about for a long time.
That was almost six months ago and Hominick lost a decision but enhanced his reputation and standing in the sport.
But it was still a loss.
On Dec. 10, he'll be fighting again in Toronto. This time it's at the Air Canada Centre in UFC 140. A good showing won't cut it.
"In this sport only as good as your last fight but in an individual sport at the highest level that's the reality and this is the sport we choose," Hominick said from his gym, the Adrenaline Training Centre in London.
He'll be on the main pay-per-view card that night. And he'll be the first bout on the television card taking on Jung Chan-Sung, a 24-year-old who is 11-3.
A card that didn't start out as a big attraction has suddenly become one. Jon Jones, one of the hottest properties in UFC, will battle Lyoto Machida for the light heavyweight championship.
Other bouts include the Nogueira brothers. Antonio Roddrigo will take on Frank Mir in a heavyweight bout, while brother Antonio Rogerio takes on Tito Ortiz.
"The UFC put us in the first bout for a reason," Hominick said. "They wanted to start off the show with a bang."
A lot of water has gone under the Hominick bridge since his last fight. His gutsy comeback against Aldo made him a celebrity. There were months of appearances and fulfilling sponsors obligations. Two weeks after his fight, his wife gave birth to their first child.
Then tragedy struck when Hominick's longtime friend, coach and founder of Team Tompkins, Shawn Tompkins, died suddenly in August of a heart attack.
It was a debilitating blow from which Team Tompkins is still trying to recover.
"This is important to go out and make a statement for where I'm at in the division and where I'm at without Shawn," Hominick said. "That's why I'm so motivated. I'm motivated to go in there and take him out. Leave no question with anyone. Put a stamp of approval on where I'm at or where I'm going.
"Since Shawn's passing, it has brought the team closer. We've all had to pick up a piece of his leadership, pick up a piece of how he led us. But it's good for the team in a bonding sense. We are motivated to let people know we aren't going anywhere as a team."
The best-known members of Team Tompkins are Hominick, Sam Stout, who will fight his first bout since Tompkins' death in Brazil in January, and Chris Horodecki.
They'll be working Hominick's corner in UFC 140.
"And Shawn's brother Freddie will be in the corner as well. It's more of a sentiment thing," Hominick said. "He never coached me. It means a lot for the family and for me to have him there."
His opponent is known as the "Korean Zombie" for a reason.
"He's one of the most exciting fighters in the UFC. You hit him and he keeps coming," Hominick said. "The thing with the Zombie is he is so unpredictable. So you don't want to get a sparing partner who only gives you one look. You want to get a variety of looks. So I get a new sparing partner each round so I'm never really comfortable with the style.
"I brought in guys I used to box with. I've been rolling with some guys from Vegas. I work with Leo Loucks from London, who was the world kickboxing champion."
Hominick normally fights three times a year. He'll do that again this year, although the time between his last fight and this one is a little longer than normal. For the last six weeks he's been in the training zone.
"It's like Groundhog Day," he said. "Every day . . . you get up, you train, you eat you sleep, you get up again, you train, you eat, you sleep, then you diet to start to cut weight."
In a few days, he'll begin to wind down.
It's not the first time he's fought without Tompkins in his corner, but it is the first time he's trained without him. The good thing is he's never needed much impetus to train. It's why he's called the "Machine."
I've always trained hard but I've trained even harder this time," Hominick said. "I'm hungry. I want to prove a point. Not just for me, but for Shawn."
CYBER SPARRING LANDS RESULTS
The power of social media is so strong, it now has the ability to force promoters to arrange fights.
The Mark Hominick/Jung Chan-Sung UFC fight scheduled for Toronto on Dec. 10 came about in large part because of Twitter.
After Hominick put in a great showing against featherweight champion Jose Aldo, a tweet battle started.
"The Korean Zombie said on Twitter 'I want Mark Hominick,' " Hominick said. "The UFC and fans, we had a thing back and forth on Twitter. After my fight (Chang-Sung) and me went back and forth. The fans got on board and all of a sudden they started blasting Dana White and that's how the fight got signed."
Hominick said the UFC is a "very social media friendly company."
"We get bonuses for increases in followers and different things," he said.
Make Hominick some money. Follow him @MarkHominick.