By Kelsey Mowatt, photo courtesy Adrenaline Training Center
It’s the biggest fight of Mark Hominick’s life, and thus accordingly steps have been taken, to ensure the featherweight is as comfortable as possible as he prepares for his upcoming bout with UFC champion Jose Aldo. In the past, the veteran fighter has often left his hometown of London to train in the MMA hotspot of Las Vegas. This time, however, the trainers and sparring partners that Hominick utilizes to enhance his training camps will come to him.
“The whole camp is going to be in London (Ontario) this time,” Hominick told FCF, when asked where he will prepare for his upcoming April 30th bout, which will take place in nearby Toronto. “Normally I go to Las Vegas but Shawn (Tompkins) is coming up from Vegas and he’s bringing sparring partners. He rented a house so there’s always three extra bedrooms for the fighters who come out to help me out. It’s kind of been an amazing experience because it’s kind of like Ontario’s fight, and everyone from this area has really stepped up to help me out.”
“It’s an hour-and-a-half away from where the fight’s going to happen,” Hominick added. “I’m in the same time zone, there’s no jet lag from flights; it’s just comfortable...I’m also close to my wife who is due after the fight, so that’s another reason I need to be close to home as well.”
Throughout Hominick’s near decade long pro career, the 28 year-old-fighter has forged a reputation for always being extremely well conditioned, a tendency which is in keeping with his nickname “The Machine.” The upcoming championship bout with Aldo could go five rounds, however, which is something the London fighter has yet to do.
“I wanted to get in a good eight week camp,” said Hominick (20-8), who has won five straight fights. “With it being a five round fight, the training definitely needs to be a little bit longer, and you need to be a little more conditioned. So I’m just taking it up every week. I’ve been picking up the intensity, picking up the rounds and feeling stronger day by day. I’m at a good spot right now, just under six weeks, and now’s the real tough time coming up, the next two, three weeks.”
Heading into UFC 129, the narrative surrounding the upcoming championship fight is largely focused on the striking skills of Hominick and Aldo, which have contributed to several, highlight reel stoppages for both men. As a result, it would seem that fans and observers alike are expecting a memorable stand-up battle on April 30th.
“You know that’s the thing with Jose; he’s one of those fighters that can end the fight anywhere,” said Hominick, while discussing the possibility that his upcoming bout with Aldo may not be contested solely on its feet. “So I’m expecting that; I’m expecting to stand toe-to-toe with him, I’m expecting to go into the clinch, I’m expecting to go to the mat with him. He’s threatening from everywhere, so I know what I bring to the table and I know where my strengths are, so I’d definitely love a match where we stand in the center of the cage and go at it, but I’m going to be prepared for it to go everywhere.”
While having welterweight champion and Canadian star Georges St. Pierre fight challenger Jake Shields was an obvious way to promote the organization’s upcoming Toronto debut, so was including one of Ontario’s most accomplished fighters in Hominick.
“About two weeks ago I was ready to turn off my phone and what not,” said Hominick half jokingly, when asked about the media coverage and attention he’s been receiving as UFC 129 nears. “It’s been slowing down a little bit now and I’m starting to realize what’s going to happen at the next level; the demands that come at being a high profile fighter and being involved in a higher profile fight. I welcome it; I just have to make sure that I continue to train hard and that I’m ready to fight.”