While it's great to pack a card with local talent, it's always a big drag for the crowd when they lose. Aside from victories by Mark Bocek and Yves Jabouin, the Toronto faithful had plenty to be frustrated with Saturday at UFC 140 with countrymen Mark Hominick and John Makdessi taking major steps back in their respective divisions.
Hominick's fight against Chan Sung Jung was his first since his gutsy performance in a losing effort to Featherweight Champion Jose Aldo at April's UFC 129. Between the entrance, the giant hematoma on his forehead and the action itself, Hominick had some steam behind him and another big hometown fight to get back on the fast track to contendership.
Seven seconds later, the opportunity for another memorable Canadian dream scenario turned into a nightmare. Jung's right hand knocked Hominick on his butt and it was over in a flash, silencing the enthusiastic crowd and surprising many who thought the Ontario native would win. After five straight wins, Hominick has two losses in a row and now has to figure out where things went wrong.
Makdessi came into Saturday a winner in his first nine fights and was fresh off his own magical April moment following his spinning back fist KO of Kyle Watson in front of 55,000 strong. The Montreal native had his toughest test to date in Dennis Hallman, who had difficulty with the cut down to lightweight and missed his target by several pounds. The momentum was on his side, but like with Hominick, that ended quickly.
Hallman physically dominated Makdessi, closing the distance and getting the fight to the ground as quickly as possible. Makdessi's desperate grabs at the fence were foreboding of what was to come and Hallman's elbows helped paint the bloody picture. The fight was over in three minutes, Makdessi was handed his first defeat and his progress in the UFC's deepest division is stunted for now.
Uh O, Canada
The struggles for those north of the U.S. border didn't end there:
- Winnipeg's Krzysztof Soszynski was knocked out quickly and violently in just 35 seconds by Igor Pokrajac, snapping a two-fight win streak.
- Toronto's Claude Patrick lost a tight split decision to Brian Ebersole, snapping a 13-fight win streak.
- Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, native Mitch Clarke lost to the debuting John Cholish by second round TKO.
The night wasn't a complete maple leaf disaster as Bocek bounced back from his April loss to Ben Henderson with a decision win over Nik Lentz and Jabouin edged out a tight split decision over Walel Watson for his second W in a row. However, the big Canadian players on the night tanked and tanked badly, but one has to guess they'll have their opportunity for redemption in Montreal on March 24th.