Last month, Mark Hominick announced that “The Machine” has been unplugged. The Canadian striker ended his ten-year MMA career with a record of 20-12, including nine wins by KO/TKO, seven by submission, and three Fight of the Night awards during his stint in the WEC and UFC.
A former kickboxer, Hominick submitted Yves Edwards in his first Octagon appearance in 2006, and later collected victories over such notables as Jorge Gurgel, Bryan Caraway, Yves Jabouin, and Leonard Garcia. An impressive first-round TKO win over former Team Tompkins teammate George Roop in January 2011 was Hominick’s fifth win in a row, making him a fast-rising star in the UFC’s new featherweight division, and earning him a title shot against champion Jose Aldo.
After his five-round loss to Aldo at UFC 129, Hominick suffered the loss of his trainer, the great Shawn Tompkins, as well as his next three fights, the most recent of which came against Pablo Garza at UFC 154 in Montreal.
Today, Hominick is the proud father of a one-and-a-half-year-old daughter — he and his wife have another girl on the way — and he is putting his experience and skill to good use at the Adrenaline Training Center in London, Ontario, Canada. He and fellow Shawn Tompkins protégé Chris Horodecki started the gym about four years ago and are working closely with Adrenaline’s burgeoning pro fighters. Hominick says he is also excited about the possibility of working as part of UFC Canada.
Just a few weeks after hanging up his little gloves, Mark “The Machine” Hominick spoke with CagePotato.com about the very best opponents he faced across a number of categories…
Strongest: Jose Aldo. It was like he had two fists in one. When he hit with his right hand, he hit like a heavyweight. And his explosiveness, that was the biggest difference, I noticed. I’m normally good with distance and being able to fade from a shot, but he can close the distance with not just speed, but with power.
Fastest: Yves Jabouin. I fought him at WEC 49. It was Fight of the Night and one of the best fights of the year. It was just a back-and-forth battle. Speed is where I normally have the advantage, and I felt he almost matched me there. It was like I was fighting a mirror image.
Toughest Chin: Hatsu Hioki. We fought for five rounds [at TKO 28 in February 2007]. I hit him with some big shots, and he just kept coming.
Heaviest Hands: Jose Aldo was the first guy to really drop me in my career. I fought 25 kickboxing bouts, never got dropped — ever — and he dropped me, I think, three times in the fight. That’s how hard he hits.
Best Wrestler: Mike Brown. I fought him when I was 19 years old in a small show; I think it was in a square cage — one of those types of shows. I don’t think I even knew how to spell wrestling, let alone wrestle competitively. The pressure and skill he had was something I’d never seen before.
Best Defense: Hioki again. He’s very durable, very calculating. I kept pushing the action the whole time, and he kept coming back. That’s the kind of battle I win — the war of attrition, especially in a five-round bout — but he stayed with me the whole bout.
Best Leg Strikes: Aldo. I mean, he’s one of the best leg kickers in the game, no matter what weight class. He’s got the hips that people talk about; he can turn over those hips very fast.
Most Dangerous Submissions: Rani Yahya. He’s an Abu Dhabi world champion. I trained with him before the bout, so I knew how good he was on the ground. It was one of those fights where, if it was on the feet, I was going to knock him out, and if it was on the ground, he was going to submit me. And we both knew that.
Most Surprising Opponent: “The Korean Zombie” Chan Sung Jung. It was only a seven-second bout, but I didn’t think he had the power in his hands to knock anyone out. I had seen some of his bouts where he was in wars, trading punches — giving and taking — and he didn’t put anyone down.
Best game plan: Pablo Garza. I never thought in a million years that he’d take me down and try to hold me down for two rounds of the bout. I didn’t think he’d be able to take me down, first off, and from there keep me down.
Best Win: My most dominant win was against George Roop. There was a lot on the line. I knew going into that bout that if I won that, I’d be getting the Aldo title shot, so there was a lot of pressure. I went out there and really made a statement by knocking him out in the first round.
Worst Loss: How I ended my career, I guess. I fought for over eleven years and to go out on those terms…But I guess that’s what happens in a career, you know? It’s hard to end on a high note.
Best Overall: Aldo, there’s no question. He’s one of the greatest pound-for-pound fighters, and he shocked me a bit by throwing in his wrestling. He’s one of the best for a reason.
For past installments of our “Unforgettable” series, click here.