Esther Lin, MMA Fighting
After four straight losses in the UFC, featherweight Mark Hominick announced his retirement. On Tuesday's episode of UFC Tonight, the 30-year-old Canadian who once challenged for the UFC featherweight title stated that he is ready to move on:
"Over the last 11 years, I've followed my passion in the UFC. Now, I'll say UFC 154 was my last fight in the Octagon as I'm retiring and moving on to next phase of my career. I have a young daughter at home and another on the way. I'll always be involved in the sport. But I know the commitment I have to make. I have to make a commitment to this as I have to fighting in the past."
He also said that he feels this is a "true" retirement, and unlike some guys, it's very unlikely that he'll change his mind and come back.
Hominick competed in MMA for 10 years after a successful kickboxing career, going 20-12 and finishing 16 of his 20 wins. He was a natural featherweight but had to start out as a lightweight, as most smaller guys did back in the day. Hominick became a star a few years later in the Canadian TKO promotion, which was well ahead of the time by having a featherweight division way back in 2005. After winning their title and defending it three times, he moved up to the UFC and picked up two wins over Yves Edwards and Jorge Gurgel. In between those two fights, he dropped his TKO featherweight title to Hatsu Hioki, and later on came up short in a rematch.
Hominick eventually moved over to the WEC in 2008. He lost his debut, but racked up three straight wins upon his return and was brought over to the UFC in the merger. After defeating George Roop in a number one contenders match at UFC Fight for the Troops 2, he was given a shot at UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo at UFC 129 in front of 55,000 people. Hominick talked about that fight last night:
"It put me on the map. I felt like I was competing in obscurity before that fight. I got to fight in front of 55,000 people in my home country and it really put me on the map in MMA world. I got to show people who I was as a fighter and a man."
He lost the fight but it was awesome either way. Unfortunately for him, things would never reach that level again. The loss of his coach and friend Shawn Tompkins was a major blow, but Hominick said he wouldn't use it as an excuse:
"His death motivated me to to carry on in his name, tradition and legacy."
As a Canadian MMA fan, Hominick was always one of my favorites. He was one of the biggest lighter-weight stars in Canada, and part of the reason why TKO (and MMA in Montreal) was so popular. You always knew that when Hominick was on the card, you were getting your moneys worth. It was the right time for Hominick to bow out of the sport, but I'm still going to miss him. Good luck to you and your family, sir.