Posts Tagged ‘Pablo Garza’
Down three going into the fourth, an addition to the coaching staff and Mark Hominick is prepared to get back in the win column.
Hominick (Twitter @MarkHominick) has come up short in his last three outings, but has the opportunity to get back to his winning ways on Nov. 17 at UFC 154 against Pablo Garza at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec.
Hominick’s three losses in a row were against Jose Aldo in a title match at UFC 129, Chang Sung Jung in a bout that lasted seven seconds, and a “Fight of the Night” defeat against Eddie Yagin. It’s not often a UFC fighter maintains employment with the promotion after dropping three matches consecutively, therefore, Hominick recognizes he is in a must win scenario when he meets Garza.
“I’ve been in these situations before and I feel I perform best when I am in these situations,” Hominick told Jason Kelly and guest co-host Michael Stets on MMA DieHards Radio on the MMA DieHards Radio Network. “The pressure is on. But, when I break down the last three fights, (there’s Jose) Aldo, I took one of the best pound-for-pound to the limit, almost took his belt. I feel like the “Korean Zombie” was a seven second mistake, and the last fight was a split decision. I try to take the positive with the negative and they were all competitive fights except the “Zombie” fight. I just have to get back on the winning track.”
It is rare a UFC combatant has a fourth chance to prove their worth, but Hominick is a valuable veteran in the sport.
Hominick is respected amongst his peers and “The Machine” said his support system spans outside the gym. The former UFC featherweight No. 1 contender has compiled a large amount of fans during his 12 years as a prize fighter. He said the response he receives from Twitter followers makes him believe his fans appreciate what Hominick does for them in the cage.
“I put on exciting fights,” Hominick said. “Two of my last three fights were “Fight of the Night” and the “Korean Zombie” fight won a bonus as well, just in the opposite direction. Those are the fighters they put on the pay-per-views. The guys who lay it all on the line and I feel like I’m one of those guys. That being said, I still feel like I’m amongst the top of the division so I have to go out there and prove that.”
Hominick debuted in the Octagon at UFC 58 in March 2006, and defeated Yves Edwards in the lightweight division. The Canadian returned to MMA’s grand stage at “UFC Ultimate Fight Night 5” and conquered Jorge Gurgel, which was also in the lightweight division.
Hominick bailed on the UFC for other promotions until settling in with the WEC in order to compete in his proper weight class- the featherweight division. He continued fighting at 145 pounds in the WEC until the Zuffa merged the two promotions, which is something all mixed martial artists didn’t opt to do. Instead, fighters would compete above their weight class for the chance of showcasing their skills in the UFC and receiving a bigger payday plus recognition.
Nowadays, with the UFC having weight classes less than 155 pounds, combatants are attempting to fight in a lower weight division to ensure a size advantage. Others drop a weight class to suit their proper division to compete in. In either instance, Hominick welcomes all newcomers to the UFC featherweight division.
“I like it because it brings credibility to the weight class,” Hominick said. “A lot of people know these guys’ names so it brings a lot more attention. But again, you’re a fighter and you want to compete where you think you’re going to be a champion and where you’re going to perform best. Sometimes it takes guys a little bouncing around to see where they’re at, but my whole career have been at 145 (pounds), aside from the two in the UFC when they didn’t have the featherweight division.”
Likewise to Hominick finding a home in the featherweight division, its well-known the Ontarian’s home gym is Adrenaline Training Center in London, Ontario.
ATC was created by Hominick, Sam Stout and Chris Horodecki – three of the late Shawn Tompkins’ focal students. All three have evolved together and watched one another’s careers develop. MMA has known the three to be inseparable, but recently they’ve each been branching out in their own directions, seeking instruction from sources outside the Canadian based gym.
“We’re not going anywhere,” Hominick said. “The three of us own a gym and train day in and day out in London. We all need a leader in that corner. It’s about fining where you in best. I made my decision first because I knew I was going to be with Jeff (Curran) because I’ve been training with Jeff since 2004. I’m comfortable with him and he’s got a great team.
“Sam (Stout) has been with (Mark) DellaGrotte for a bit and Chris (Horodecki) went to Tristar and really liked training with them. I think moving forward we have to go where we’re each comfortable, but we’re still a team. We’re not going anywhere.”
UFC bantamweight Mike “The Hulk” Easton (Twitter: @mikeeastonmma) will fight friend or foe for first-place status in his division.
The 12-1 Anacostia, Washington D.C. native will definitely engage an enemy when he faces the 17-7 Yves “The Tiger” Jabouin at UFC on Fuel TV 3 at the Patriot Center in Fairfax, Va. Both stand in each other’s way for bantamweight dominance, so there will be no love lost when they meet in the Octagon on May 15.
“Jabouin is a beast,” Easton told MMADiehards in an e-mail exchange on St. Patrick’s Day last Saturday. “He likes to fight. We’re going to put on a super high-paced fight. He’s an exciting and worthy adversary.”
Easton and Jabouin have been on a collision course since both men entered the UFC in 2011. Easton debuted with a TKO of Byron Bloodworth in October followed by a unanimous decision victory against Jared “The Jackhammer” Papazian in January. Jabouin, meanwhile, submitted Pablo “The Scarecrow” Garza in April before taking split decisions wins against Ian “The Barn Owl” Loveland and Walel “The Gazelle” Watson in August then December.
Easton said that true to the bantamweight style, both himself and Jabouin attack with blinding speed. Jabouin is renowned for his striking, Easton said, so he’ll counter with his own knockout power or his skills as a Brazilian jiu-jitsu black belt.
“My strategy is to take his mind and body to a place he’s never been before,” Easton declared. “I’ll fight him standing or on the ground. I’m ready to mix it up with him.”
A win over Jabouin would propel Easton closer to bantamweight’s glass ceiling. Looking down from the top is 19-1 Dominick “The Dominator” Cruz, the division’s king and one of the world’s best pound-for-pound fighters. He’s also one of Easton’s closest friends. Should they meet, Easton said he’s prepared to take the title from his long-time training partner.
“Of course I’d fight Dominick,” Easton said when asked about his camaraderie with Cruz. “It’s my job, first of all, and right now he is the best 135 lb. fighter in the division. My ultimate goal is to win that belt and if I had to fight him I would. He’s my boy, I love him and I would give it my best and my all, but we will have no problem fighting each other for the belt.”
For now, Easton’s energy is focused on Jabouin. “The Hulk” said he already feels confident of victory given Fairfax is so close to his Washington D.C. hometown. No stranger to risking it in the District, Easton’s experiences fighting and training in D.C.’s MMA subculture will make the Patriot Center feel like familiar territory.
“Fairfax feels very much like home to me,” Easton said. “Anytime you are fighting at home it feels like an advantage. I love having my team and my hometown fans nearby for support.”
Easton said that regardless of his next fight’s outcome, he’ll continue battling up the bantamweight ranks. Having once held the Ultimate Warrior Challenge title for that division, he said he’s eager to gain UFC gold in his new home.
“We don’t stop,” Easton said of bantamweight fighters. “We’re really technical, and now that I’m in the division we have knockout power too. My goal for 2012 is to keep moving up the ladder, keep winning and keep moving toward the goal of becoming a UFC champion.”
They might have been on the preliminary fight card, but Jake Ellenberger, John Makdessi and Pablo Garza were bonus-hunting. Garza won.
Ellenberger, Makdessi and Garza put themselves in line for a huge payday at UFC 129 at the Rogers Centre in Toronto on Saturday, finishing their fights in highlight-reel fashion. Bonuses for the event were $129,000 per fighter, to those who win submission of the night, knockout of the night and fight of the night.
Garza’s submission withstood the test, while Lyoto Machida’s Karate Kid KO of Randy Couture took away the honors from Makdessi and Ellenberger.
Ellenberger scored a virtual standing knockout of Sean Pierson and Makdessi KO’d Kyle Watson with a spinning backfist while Garza caught Yves Jabouin in a spectacular submission at the biggest UFC event in history. It all happened before the main-card fighters stepped out in front of the crowd of 55,000.
Garza led off, Makdessi moved it along in the second fight and then Jason MacDonald made it two in a row for Canada when he took just 97 seconds to submit Ryan Jensen. The magic number for Ivan Menjivar against Charlie Valencia was 90 seconds.
The first decision of the night went to Canada’s Claude Patrick, who outdueled Daniel Roberts. The other decision on the undercard went to Rory MacDonald (no relation to Jason), who battered Nate Diaz en route to a lopsided decision to close the prelims.
Ellenberger’s victory came as those following in the States switched from Facebook to Spike TV to see him land a heavy left that turned off Pierson’s switch. Pierson was out on his feet and took a right from Ellenberger on the way to the canvas before it was waved off.
“I’m completely happy,” Ellenberger said. “I took the fight on 16 days’ notice, but I was more than ready.”
While he might not be ready for a welterweight title shot, Ellenberger continues to rocket toward the top of the division. He looked a few classes above Pierson, who was fighting in front of his hometown crowd.
“I didn’t realize I caught him that way,” Ellenberger said. “He’s a warrior, and I hope he is OK.”
Garza absorbed some heavy kicks from Jabouin, but then caught him with a flying triangle and never let him out, earning the tap on the mat at 4:31 of the first round. Although his was the first bout, he appeared to have a solid line on the submission of the night bonus, and it needed only to withstand Jason MacDonald’s effort.
“Not many people know I’ve been making history,” Garza said. “(I am the) first person to fight at 145 in the UFC, first person to have a knockout at 145, and the first person to fight in the biggest event in the history of the UFC.
“Dana White, gimme my money, baby!”
Garza’s last fight was a straight knockout, with a flying knee, of Fredson Paixao at the TUF 12 Finale. That was the first featherweight fight in UFC history. On Saturday, it was the triangle that flew.
“We wanted to get the clinch, and I was telling myself that as soon as I landed one knee or half a knee, I was going to attack him,” Garza said. “I was going to go for an arm bar, but I rolled him, then rolled him again, and the rest is history.”
Makdessi was picking apart Watson through two rounds, but what happened 87 seconds into the third was something on another level.
Makdessi stepped toward Watson like he was going to kick, then planted his foot for a pivot, spun and blasted the momentarily confused Watson with the back of his left first, instantly knocking out the TUF 12 finalist.
“There is no way I could ever be here without my teammates,” Makdessi said. “I’m very blessed to be victorious, but I still have a lot to improve.”
Jason MacDonald was making his return from nearly a year on the sidelines after a severe fractured leg, but looked at the top of his game against Jensen. MacDonald got Jensen into a triangle choke, which he cinched even tighter when Jensen attempted to slam his way out. The tap came at 1:37 of Round 1.
“I was looking for the triangle before I came off my back,” MacDonald said. “It was just a matter of time once I got the arm like that. The slam is not a good escape for the triangle, and here’s the reason why.”
Menjivar, who moved to the now-famous Tristar Gym in Montreal to train alongside Georges St-Pierre under Firas Zahabi, delivered a short elbow directly to the nose of Valencia, who buckled to the canvas. A bit more of ground and pound delivered the end of the fight.
“It’s the training, and thanks to everybody in my gym,” said Menjivar, who is from El Salvador but embraced as a Canadian.
Patrick ran his winning streak to 13 fights by winning 29-28 on all the judges’ cards. The grapplers mostly canceled out one another on the ground, leading Patrick to get the edge in a lackluster stand-up affair.
Rory MacDonald’s decision over Diaz was quite the opposite, as the fight got more exciting as it endured. MacDonald took the action to the rugged Diaz for the first two rounds, but his trio of suplexes in the third sent the huge crowd into a frenzy for their Canadian countryman. MacDonald won the fight 30-26 in the minds of two of the judges, and the final round was worthy of a 10-8 score.
“I’m on top of the world,” said the 21-year-old, who from British Columbia but moved to Montreal to train at Tristar for this fight. “The game plan was to control the fight. For those who watched my last fight, I got very emotional. I got pumped by the crowd. I try to go without emotion, kinf of like Fedor (Emelianenko). Firas prepared me so well for this fight.”