Mark Hominick - I Want To Be on The Biggest Stage
Fight Network Reporter
POSTED: July 26, 2008 - 12:28 pm
CATEGORIES: MMA, International
Days after his triumphant victory over Trenell "Savant" Young last Saturday at Affliction: Banned and the day after his birthday, Mark "The Machine" Hominick joined Fight Network Radio to speak his thoughts of his win, his evolution from a stand up fighter to a well rounded mixed martial artist, and the comparison between Affliction and the Zuffa brand.
Hominick surprised host John Pollock and possibly some listeners by divulging he had already been back in the gym training since his win just a few short days prior. He hadn't even really celebrated his birthday yet (although he noted he'd finally be doing so later in the night). The conversation jumped right into the fight against Young, with Hominick revealing part of the game plan against the veteran was to "make him move around. He cut a lot of weight, so I knew his conditioning wasn't that strong. Moving in and out, making him move a lot, I knew would tire him, so I didn't want to stay in the pocket too long. Wear him down; take him into the deep water, trying to see if he could swim". The big revelation in the fight was Hominick utilizing his ground skills, which are growing more and more refined. Although Pollock remarked that most people were expecting a knock out in the fight between the two, they were in agreement that you couldn't force the KO, with Hominick glad to have the opportunity to showcase his ground game.
Pollock observed that Hominick must feel good knowing he has developed a strong skill set on the ground and can now seemingly hold his own against the world's top 145-pounders. Regarding his recent less than ideal run in the WEC, Hominick says, "I needed to make a statement. I couldn't sneak out a decision or just kind of sneak by a win. I had to make a big statement and I think that's what I did. Whether it was a KO or a submission. I'm ready to go wherever the fight is; I just prefer to stand up. Anyone who doubts my ground game, that's who I'm going to fight and I'm going to prove that I'm a lot better than people think. Guys I've been submitted by, like Rani Yahya, he's the Abu Dhabi champion. He's no slouch, you know, he's the world's best. All I can do is prove myself and I think that's what I did". They discussed his seamless transition from a triangle attempt into the armbar that clinched the victory for Hominick. Hominick defended his decision to turn to the armbar saying, "I wanted to finish with the triangle but his neck was so thick and he was so sweaty. A lot of people were yelling to pull the shin down but I felt that if I pulled the shin down he would've just snuck right out the back door because he was so sweaty and he literally didn't have a neck. As soon as he had his arm straight I knew I had to go for the armbar because he was flat on his back and I knew that would be a better finish than the triangle because he was so thick in the neck and so stocky, it was hard to choke him".
Having begun his career as a striker, Hominick has first hand knowledge of the importance of mixed martial artists becoming well rounded. He uses former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes as an example, stating that Hughes was a "dominant, dominant champion for years because he relied on his one strength and guys who stay with that one strength are getting beat now and that's it. If you don't catch up you're going to be left behind. You've got to keep climbing and get better. When you think you've got it all, that's when someone's going to wake you up and tell you, ‘you've got stuff to learn'." Hominick put his striking training on a slight back burner for this fight, opting to focus primarily on his wrestling and jiu-jitsu for the first time in his training camp. He described his training regimen as this, "I do pad work 3-4 times a week; I spar a couple times. I still get that hard work in, my conditioning and timing, but it wasn't my driving force in the training camp. My driving force was my wrestling and jiu-jitsu and it came through".
Hominick was one of many fighters on the Affliction card who had previously fought for the Zuffa brand, both in the UFC and the WEC. Inevitably, he was faced with comparisons and he spoke glowingly of the upstart organization. "I've never been treated, as a fighter; as good as I have with the Affliction group. You could tell they put the fighters and the fans in the forefront. That was their focus and that's who they wanted to please. I really hope to God that they made a ton of money off the pay per view but you could see that wasn't the driving force. They wanted to put on the show of a lifetime and I think that's what they did, with the fighters and fans in mind. Anything extra they could do, they did do for the fighters and I think any fighter who was on the show could reiterate that. I don't know about everybody else, but I could feel the buzz. I've fought in the UFC, I've fought on a pay per view in the UFC and there's obviously a buzz. But I've never felt a buzz like this ever. I've never felt the electric atmosphere before the fight. You knew that there was something special going on". Hominick supported competition between both promotions, likening the UFC to the "Kleenex brand of mixed martial arts. Everyone affiliates MMA with the UFC or ultimate fighting but now there's a new kid on the block".
Discussing the UFC brass' plan to hold an event (UFC Fight Night) to counteract the Affliction pay per view, Pollock stated his belief that the plan indirectly put a lot of focus on the Affliction show, to which Hominick agreed. Hominick believed that move and Affliction's initial foray into the mixed martial arts world now puts pressure on the UFC's way of conducting business, especially in regards to fighter's pay scales. Of this he says, "Everyone's seen what the fighters are getting paid for this show [Affliction: Banned]. The UFC's never paid that much for a purse. Now you can see that the UFC's pay scale is going to have to go up or else they're going to lose fighters". But Hominick is far from critical about his former stomping grounds. "I'm not downing the UFC. I hope they do the best. I hope the fighters in the UFC do the best. My training partner, one of my best friends (Sam Stout) is there and I wish him the best too. I'm not downgrading them; I just hope everyone can be successful".
Much media hype had been made of the Affliction show, Pollock noted, a show that some were calling the "biggest event in MMA history". He asked Hominick if that created any added pressure to the fight and his performance, but Hominick said without hesitation, "Those are the kind of performances I want to have and those are the kind of cards I want to be a part of. I'd rather fight in front of 10 million fans than 10 fans. I want to be on the biggest stage, have the biggest performance. So I like that kind of pressure. I was glad to be a part of that".
With the win over Young behind him, Hominick expressed his desire to fight again before year's end. He revealed his inclusion on the next Affliction card (rumored to occur in the fall) and that his only wish was for a top ten opponent. While Zuffa holds many of the top 145-pounders in its stable, Hominick was confident that Affliction would find him a suitable top contender. "They said I get to pick my opponent and all I'm thinking about was ‘top ten'. I don't care. I don't want to fight anybody unless it's going to raise my stock". He also made mention of a project he'd been undergoing with his teammates, a new gym in London, Ontario called Adrenaline Training Center, on top of the Shawn Tompkins-run gym he was already a part of. Hominick speaks with wisdom and eloquence beyond his years and experience many fighters his age can only aspire to. As his profile rises and Hominick starts to rack up more impressive victories, one can already see the stars aligning for this young and talented fighter.