MMADieHards.com’s Conner Cordova sits down with Mark Hominick as prepares for his title shot at UFC 129 against Jose Aldo.
Posts Tagged ‘Mark Hominick’
Taking into account Mark Hominick’s work ethic, determination and all the victories he has piled up, the UFC featherweight contender admits that the opportunity standing before him is like nothing he has seen before.
“This is something I’ve definitely never experienced in my life,” Hominick admitted during a UFC 129 conference call. “My life flipped upside down. I’m going into my 10th year fighting professionally, and it feels like I’m an overnight success. There’s so much anticipation for the show and so much support from the media. This whole event has been a once in a lifetime opportunity. It’s been crazy, and I’m really trying to enjoy the ride.”
The ride not only has taken Hominick to a title shot, but also granted him special-guest status at a Toronto Blue Jays game. “The Machine” threw out the first pitch at the Jays’ game against the Tampa Bay Rays at The Rogers Centre, where he will try to take Jose Aldo’s title on Saturday.
“(UFC 129) is such a huge event for Canada and for Ontario,” Hominick stated. “The Rogers Centre is such an iconic piece and to throw a pitch out there is a memorable one.”
Hominick, an Ontario native, is mindful of the pressure of facing the likes of Aldo and the pleasure of partaking in such an event. He also has a pregnant wife to make life more stressful – and joyous.
“Its overwhelming, but I have a busy schedule,” Hominick explained. “I delegate myself to following a straight guideline. I live in a small town and my mom lives around the corner, grandma lives around the other corner, my sister lives around the other corner, so I’ve got a strong support system. Everyone’s there and everyone’s rooting for me for the fight. They’ve really stepped up. The people at the gym and everyone in my life know the opportunity that’s in front of me. It’s been a huge support system to have behind me.”
In addition to everything else, a strong support system is needed when challenging a fighter like Aldo. The Brazilian is considered by many to be one of the top pound-for-pound fighters in the world and his destruction of opponents is second to none, within his weight division. However, if there is someone with the skill set to beat Aldo, it might be Hominick.
Hominick’s crisp, pin-point striking, along with his tremendous footwork and impeccable head movement he learned training under the tutelage of coach Shawn Tompkins since the beginning of his career, is something Aldo has never experienced. The UFC champ should not be able to pick apart Hominick the way he has previous opponents. While “The Machine” recognizes the threat Aldo is as a fighter and he commends the Blackhouse standout for all his accomplishments, Hominick nevertheless feels confident he can win the fight.
“Jose is one of these fighters (that’s) not dangerous in one area, he’s dangerous in every area.” Hominick explained. “It’s not like you bring in a certain sparring partner, you bring in the best in every aspect. The stand-up, the clinch, the ground … I have to make sure I‘m sparring with the best capable guys in every aspect, not just a one-dimensional fighter.
“Everyone goes in there so intimated by what he’s doing and I think I’m going to be the one guy that takes a step forward instead of backward against him. He’s well-deserving of being pound-for-pound king and one of the best in the weight class. But, I’m going to go out there (to) fight my fight, and that’s the biggest thing.”
Hominick paid his dues and climbed the ladder to success, now he finds himself participating in the largest UFC event in the history of the promotion, not to mention the biggest MMA event ever in North America. The former TKO featherweight champ is excited for the chance to fight in Toronto, just as much as he is for the memories it will leave with him.
“I’m just trying to take it all in,” said Hominick. “This is an experience I’ll look back on and say, ‘Wow, this was a crazy time.’ Especially with my wife being due within a week of the fight. There’s going to be no other time in my life that’s going to be this busy, this hectic and this much build-up.
“”I’m just ready to go for April 30 and take in all that momentum and carry it into the cage.”
Aldo may be the favorite on the gambling front, but inside the Rogers Centre on Saturday, there will be thousands of Canadian fans screaming for their countryman to win. Hominick has reached a milestone in his career and is enjoying the ride, but with a victory at UFC 129, the ride may just have begun.
The top three headliners made quick work of their opponents on Saturday night at UFC Fight for the Troops 2 at Fort Hood, outside of Killeen, Tex.
Melvin Guillard, Matt Mitrione and Mark Hominick all finished their fights in less than three minutes in a card that otherwise consisted of almost entirely of decisions.
Guillard won knockout of the night and the $30,000 bonus that goes with it. Yves Edwards took home an extra $60,000. Edwards won submission of the night for his technical submission of Cody McKenzie, who passed out from a rear naked choke at 4:33 of the second round of the fight of the night. McKenzie won $30,000 for his part of the thrilling contest, which aired via Facebook in a ground-breaking move by the UFC.
After the live stream from Facebook from 7-9 p.m. ET, the webcast became a broadcast on Spike.
The Spike show finished when Guillard overwhelmed Evan Dunham for a first-round TKO. Guillard (27-8-2, 1 NC) landed a stiff combination that floored Dunham, who was able to get up but only to get blasted by a knee that finished matters at 2:58 of the opening round.
“That (combination) should be named after me,” Guillard said before calling out to his teammate at Greg Jackson’s MMA. “Should it be, Brian Stann? It’s a secret.”
Guillard has won five in a row and seven of his last eight fights. He is 6-1 during his second stint in the UFC.
“I want my title shot,” Guillard said. “I’m the dark horse of this game at (1)55 (pounds). No disrespect, but I am the best in this weight class. You keep lining them up, I’ll keep knocking them down. I’ll go undefeated in 2011 and hopefully get a title shot, and no later than 2012.”
Dunham (11-2) suddenly has a two-fight losing streak after opening his career with 11 wins. His previous defeat, to Sean Sherk at UFC 119 in September, was a highly controversial split decision that many thought he won.
Mitrione, a former NFL defensive lineman, wiped out Tim Hague in a heavyweight match.
Mitrione (4-0) did not win the 10th season of The Ultimate Fighter, but he is turning out to be one of the success stories from that campaign, showing vast improvement with each bout and extending his undefeated professional record. He knocked down Hague (12-5) in the early going with a big left, and did the same with the same first later in the first round, hitting Hague on the chin with a straight punch.
Hague went down and covered up from Mitrione’s ground strikes, which quickly brought an end to the match, a second short of three minutes in.
“I wanted to be like a 260-pound Dominick Cruz,” Mitrione said of the UFC bantamweight (135-pound) champion, who is known for his amazing footwork and elusiveness. “I think Tim’s a good fighter, but I want to get tested. I’m in here to get the gold.”
With the impressive win, Mitrione could see the class significantly raised when he faces his next opponent. He might have to wait a little longer than he might desire, if it turns out Mitrione is correct in his post-fight prediction that he broke his left hand.
Hague returned to the UFC after a 1-3 stint, having earned successive wins over Mitrione’s TUF 10 castmate, Zak Jensen, and veteran Travis Wiuff.
Hominick will get his shot at the UFC featherweight title after making quick work of former training partner George Roop.
Hominick (20-8) landed an early combination, then a big left that floored Roop (11-7-1). He hit the downed Roop once, and then the fight was waved off at 1:28. Roop protested, but still was wobbled even moments later when he got up and walked across the Octagon toward Hominick, who actually caught his opponent and did not let him fall.
“I’m thrilled,” Hominick, a Canadian, said. “If you’re next in line for a title shot, you need to prove it. I believe my standup is far superior to everybody, but you have to show it in the cage.”
Hominick said he would have complained the same way Roop did, protesting against an early stoppage.
“No disrespect,” Hominick said of Roop. “He’s a fighter, he’s got a fighter’s heart.”
Hominick acknowledged his pregnant wife, who was at home and did not travel to the event.
“I don’t know how you guys in the corwd go overseas for a year or years into your tours,” he said. “It’s so hard to be away from home.”
Then he turned his focus to Aldo.
“You have to make statements with your performance,” said Hominick. “Jose’s next. I think he’s best pound for pound.”
Roop returned to the UFC for the first time since losing to George Sotiropoulos in August 2009 at UFC 101. That fight was at lightweight.
Pat Barry kicked his way to a hard-fought victory over Joey Beltran in the heavyweight division.
Barry (6-2), a top-level kickboxer, used his powerful kicks to render Beltran’s lead leg, his left, nearly useless. Beltran (12-5) refused to stop moving forward and kept the fight competitive and exciting. But an accidental poke to Beltran’s left eye gave Barry a huge advantage in the final 90 seconds, and Beltran did well to make it to the final bell, collapsing at the horn.
Barry unanimously won the decision, scoring 29-28 in the minds of two judges and 30-27 with the other.
Emotional after the fight, Barry showed the dog tags of his late father, David J. Barry.
“(My father) passed away 25 years ago,” the choked-up Barry said, holding the tags. “This is the greatest country in the world. I don’t know what your everyday lives are like. But it’s an honor to give you a few hours away from your everyday lives, just to relax and sit back. I salaute you.
“Joey Beltran, that dude is a zombie. I kicked him in his face 300 times, and I beat his leg to death. He just kept coming.”
Beltran lost his second straight fight after winning his first two in the UFC.
Matt Wiman outpaced Cole Miller in a lightweight match.
Wiman (13-5) never let Miller (17-5) get on track, pushing the pace with a relentless offense that included heavy doses of ground and pound. Wiman won 30-27 on two judges’ cards and 29-28 on the other.
“I was going through a lot of nerves before this fight,” said Wiman, who has won three straight. “It was probably the most nervous I have ever been.”
Wiman did not look nervous in the cage, as he pressed the action and never let Miller’s stellar submissions game become a factor. He continually had Miller down on his back, and nullified any potential offense by keeping him defending a near constant rain of punches.
Miller had won two straight, but fell to 4-3 in his last seven fights.
Elsewhere, DaMarques Johnson finished Mike Guymon with a body triangle submission 3:22 into their welterweight match, halting a run of four straight unanimous decisions to open the card.
In those decisions, Rani Yahya upset former WEC featherweight champion Mike Brown, Waylon Lowe beat Willamy Freire, Charlie Brenneman dominated Amilcar Alves, and Chris Cariaso defeated Will Campuzano.
The UFC is set to put on its second UFC Fight for the Troops event on Jan. 22, with the main card airing live on Spike TV and two preliminary fights streaming live via Facebook.
The Facebook approach is a new and interesting one for the UFC, but it’s another way to give the fans more action, something that’s always welcome.
The event goes down at Fort Hood outside of Killeen, Tex., and features 11 bouts in all.
The MMA DieHards panel of writers – Bob Badders, Hector Castro, Jason Kelly, Maggie Krol and Conner Cordova – gathered to make their picks for the entire card.
Three fighters earned unanimous nods from our panel as favorites in their fights.
Featherweight Mike Brown (24-7) gets the panel’s nod over Rani Yahya (15-6), lightweight Cole Miller (17-4) takes the win over Matt Wiman (12-5) in all five panelist’s opinions and heavyweight Pat Barry (5-2) is expected to defeat Joey Beltran (12-4) according to our fine group of prognosticators.
The panel was divided on the other eight contests, which brings us to the “Counterpunch,” where one of the writers in the minority defends his reason for going against the popular opinion. Unfortunately, two of our panelists – Hector and Maggie – were unable to contribute analysis to their picks due to their trip to Texas for the event. In their place, we have alternates – Rob Tatum, Bryan Henderson and Cameron Chow – filling in to provide their thoughts on some of the minority picks.
BW: Will Campuzano (8-3) vs. Chris Cariaso (10-2)
Picking Campuzano: 4 (Badders, Cordova, Kelly, Krol)
Picking Cariaso: 1 (Castro)
Henderson: For me, this is little more than the flip of a coin. I could go either way, but I’ll side with Cariaso. Campuzano has the reach advantage and a six-inch height advantage. That’s going to be hard for Cariaso to overcome.
Cariaso has proven that he can grind out decisions, while having a hard time finishing opponents. That comes into play here, as Cariaso won’t come close to stopping Campuzano, but will show the better technique in doing just enough to get the job done. While it won’t be pretty, I’ll say Cariaso can overcome the height disparity to pull off an ugly split decision win.
WW: Charlie Brenneman (12-2) vs. Amilcar Alves (11-2)
Picking Brenneman: 4 (Badders, Castro, Kelly, Krol)
Picking Alves: 1 (Cordova)
Cordova: One lone loss in the UFC shouldn’t define a career, but it can. Both of these guys are coming off of losses to top tier fighters, and with their UFC records so young, this is a make or break situation. Both are solid, well-rounded mixed martial artists, and with their backs against the wall, you can expect them to come out guns blazing. In situations like this, where both fighters are so close in skill, I have to go with my gut. Alves by submission in the second… there I said it! Woo… glad that’s done.
LW: Willamy “Chiquerim” Freire (18-3) vs. Waylon Lowe (9-3)
Picking Lowe: 3 (Badders, Cordova, Kelly)
Picking Freire: 2 (Castro, Krol)
Henderson: I’m somewhat surprised I’m even writing this as a “counterpunch” pick. Is it the fear that Freire will be overcome with Octagon jitters that has him checking in as the panel’s underdog in this fight? Or is it the level of competition they’ve faced?
Lowe has managed just one win in two tries inside the Octagon, and that win came via split decision over Steve Lopez. Meanwhile, Freire has nine more pro fights, nine more career wins and the Shooto welterweight (154 lb) title to his name. Sure, the competition hasn’t been on the same level as what Lowe has faced, but that can often be said of Brazilian stars making their move to the UFC.
“Chiquerim” will be the latest Brazilian import to impress in the UFC, and Lowe should be the perfect showcase fight to introduce Freire to the American fans. Given that this is Willamy’s first time in the Octagon, I see him struggling in the early going, but pulling out a second-round submission victory.
WW: DaMarques Johnson (11-8) vs. Mike Guymon (12-4-1)
Picking Johnson: 4 (Badders, Castro, Cordova, Kelly)
Picking Guymon: 1 (Krol)
Tatum: In what is a likely win or go home fight, welterweights Guymon and Johnson will face off on the Fight for the Troops undercard. Both fighters are coming off recent losses and will look to get back on track at the other’s expense.
Guymon enters the bout with a 1-2 record inside the Octagon, and was recently submitted by Daniel Roberts at UFC 121 in October. The “Joker” is a well-rounded veteran, whose submission skills cannot be taken lightly.
Johnson, meanwhile, is a US Army and TUF veteran who is looking to get back in the good graces of the promotion. Despite an even record of 2-2 inside the UFC, Johnson is likely facing the chopping block after missing weight in his last outing against Matt Riddle in August. A clearly gassed Johnson was TKO’d in the second round.
Based on what I have seen from both of these fighters, I know that Johnson is the more explosive (and younger) of the two, but his conditioning and submission defense have some holes. Guymon, on the other hand, while possessing deficiencies in his standup, is more capable of dictating the pace and location of the bout. If Johnson can keep it standing, he could easily score a highlight reel KO over Guymon, but I fully expect the “Joker” to take this fight to the mat and claim a decision victory over an exhausted Johnson.
LW: Yves Edwards (39-16-1) vs. Cody McKenzie (12-0)
Picking Edwards: 4 (Badder, Castro, Cordova, Kelly)
Picking McKenzie: 1 (Krol)
Chow: You’re right Yves Edwards, this isn’t the French Revolution, but the guillotine will reign supreme this weekend. The experience is on Edwards side, but the win will be on Cody McKenzie’s record when fight is over.
Edwards has stated that he’s not afraid of McKenzie’s signature move, but so had McKenzie’s previous ten opponents. Michael Jordan wanted to put the ball in the hoop and Tom Brady wants to complete passes, but it’s hard to stop the best of the best. Make no mistake about it, Cody McKenzie is one of the best when it comes to slapping on a guillotine.
I’m not saying McKenzie is going to win by guillotine, but he will win because of the threat of a guillotine. Edwards may be so focused on not being submitted in one way that it could lead to another opening. If McKenzie has a chance to slap on his special grip, Edwards’ experience won’t matter.
FW: Mark Hominick (19-8) vs. George Roop (11-6-1)
Picking Hominick: 3 (Badders, Cordova, Kelly)
Picking Roop: 2 (Castro, Krol)
Tatum: Admittedly, I’m playing the devil’s advocate in this fight. The Canadian, Mark Hominick, comes in riding a four-fight win streak and has been promised a title shot at featherweight juggernaut Jose Aldo if he disposes of George Roop, as expected. To be honest, I take issue with two things, the first being promising Hominick a title shot, but not Roop (although Roop is not deserving at this point), and giving UFC 129 two title fights. Traditionally, the two title fight scenario has provided lackluster performances (UFC 100, UFC 111, UFC 112 – decisions with champions retaining their belt), and since a certain Canadian fighter (GSP… cough) was responsible for two of those, this may be the UFC’s way of trying to accommodate that scenario.
Regardless of my issues with surrounding circumstances, I still believe Roop is worthy of consideration after his absolute destruction of Chan Sung Jung at WEC 51. Many expected “The Korean Zombie” to handle Roop easily, but in a classic case of styles making a fight, Jung’s aggressive nature proved to be his downfall as Roop sent him to the hospital with a vicious headkick. While Hominick is much more technical and disciplined than Jung, he’ll still have to deal with Roop’s 6-foot-1 frame and length, something rarely seen at 145 pounds.
On paper, this is a mismatch. And I’m a huge fan of Mark Hominick’s precision striking. You wouldn’t catch me placing money on this pick, but I’m just hopeful that Roop can throw a monkey wrench in the UFC’s plans and force them to rethink announcing title shots to one competitor and not the other.
HW: Matt Mitrione (3-0) vs. Tim Hague (12-4)
Picking Mitrione: 3 (Badders, Castro, Kelly)
Picking Hague: 2 (Cordova, Krol)
Cordova: Interesting, is the first thing that pops into my head when I think of this fight. Both guys are scrappy and durable. The thing that really stands out to me is how unorthodox they are! Mitrione’s stand up is so out there, and Hague just seems to pull it out, sloppy or not. In my opinion, Hague gets a bad rap. Todd Duffee got him just right to get that kind of finish, it seems like everyone forgot about how much abuse he took from Pat Barry and still won! I think Hague is taking this one on grit alone. The Canadian is bringing this one home.
LW: Evan Dunham (11-1) vs. Melvin Guillard (26-8-2)
Picking Dunham: 3 (Badders, Castro, Kelly)
Picking Guillard: 2 (Cordova, Krol)
Cordova: First off, I just have to say this main event is off the hook, two dynamic up-and-comers in the UFC going head to head with everything on the line! Fight of the Night potential, for sure. Both of these guys are extremely talented and dangerous when in their element. Really, this fight comes down to who imposes their will first, and trust me, we’re going to find out fast.
I see Dunham being the aggressor out of the gate, using lateral to cut off Guillard’s movement, then trying to pin him against the cage to get the take down. Here is where Evan is going to run into some problems; when he tries to rush Melvin, he is going to eat counters all day. Guillard is going to circle off the cage and pick him apart from the outside. If Guillard can keep this fight on the feet, I think he will catch Dunham late in the first round.
When Melvin Guillard brings his A game, he is a force to be reckoned with. Dunham has the tools, but I think Melvin has the one punch KO power to put him away.