Photo: Esther Lin / MMAFighting.com
Sometimes, the thrill of the sweetest victory comes on the heels of agonizing defeat. After suffering the loss of his trainer and close friend, Shawn Thompkins, followed by back to back losses, Mark Hominick is keen to get himself back on the right side of the win column. In a recent interview with TapouT Radio, the young Canadian discussed his upcoming UFC 145 bout with tough featherweight, Eddie Yagin and how Team Thompkins is bouncing back after tragedy.
Interviewer: Are you getting to the point where you're just pumped up to get in the cage and get this fight in the books?
Mark Hominick: It's going good. These last two hard weeks of training, and just getting through the grind, it's a huge fight. It's on one of the biggest cards of the year with that main event, and I'm looking to solidify my spot as the top guy in the division again.
Interviewer: You're at the beginning of the main card. Do you enjoy being able to sort of kick things off for the PPV?
Mark Hominick: It's just an honor to be on the PPV card. Every fighter wants to get that exposure and be shown. We're two fighters that are going to put on a show, so it makes sense to put us first to get the crowd going and start things off with a bang.
The build up for this main event is great. It's kind of nice because I haven't had to do as much work as normal, especially with my last two fights being in Toronto. There's so much hype for this main event, that it's what's at the top of everyone's list, I guess. I'm honored to be on the main card with these guys. We're going to show up, and it's going to be one of the best PPVs of the year.
Interviewer: Talk about your last fight, and do you feel it might have been a fluke?
Mark Hominick: The way I erase that last fight is I go in there and I win. I show who I am, because a lot of times in this sport, you're only as good as your last fight. It was a tough loss and a bitter pill to swallow, but sometimes you've got to have a learning experience, and the one I took home was if you fight out of character you sometimes pay the price, and that's what happened.
You've got to give the Korean Zombie the respect he deserves. I threw a wild punch, he threw a nice counter, and that's the end of the story. I try not to dwell on it too much because it was a seven second fight. It's not like I went out there and got dominated. I went out there, I fought out of character with the wild punch, and paid the price.
Interviewer: You had an all out battle with Jose Aldo. How was that for your psyche?
Mark Hominick: It's something I'll remember for the rest of my life. It was a war, and it really kind of proved to myself where I'm at in this division. It was one of those fights that was 15 years in the making. I got to show what the last 15 years of my life have been about. My commitment to training, my heart, my dedication, my skills. I laid it all out there. Looking back, now I understand what it means to fight for a title, and the added pressure that comes with it.
Interviewer: With the passing of Shawn Thompkins, how has that changed things for you and the other guys in your camp?
Mark Hominick: We've all had to fight without him now, once. I think that was the biggest step we had to take. Now we can move forward without that being the only thing people are looking at. We're going to continue our careers, and that's how we build Shawn's legacy. That's how we carry on his name, and that's how we carry on the tradition at Team Thompkins. We're going to do that by sticking together and staying as a group.
His loss is something we'll have to deal with for the rest of our lives. He was the best man at my wedding. He was one of the biggest life mentors I've had, as well as a coach, so it's a void that can never be filled. But again, we're moving on with our careers, and with that, we build his legacy.
The one thing I'm looking at now, is who do I need to be in my coaching staff to help me get prepared. The one guy I've brought back is Jeff Curran, who is someone I've had a relationship with since 2004. It's nice to get back to training with him, and he's going to be working my corner and is someone I'm comfortable with. He's a great trainer and a great friend.
Interviewer: Talk about Eddie Yagin and what do you know about him?
Mark Hominick: This guy is a veteran, and has fought everybody. He's had a longer career than me. He just hasn't fought in the UFC. He's got one punch power in his right hand. He's got a great guillotine. He's fought the best of the best. He came up in Hawaii and fought in all different kinds of weight classes, so he's a gamer. It's going to be a battle, and I'm ready for everything he brings.
It's a great fight, but I've got to go in there with my head on straight, and do what I do best, and take him out. That's my intention, and that's what I'm going to do.
Interviewer: You and your wife have welcomed a daughter withing the last year. How has fatherhood changed you?
Mark Hominick: She's turned my life upside down, and for the better. She's an amazing addition to our family, and I love every day with her. I've always prided myself on my motivation to win. I don't like to use anything else as motivation. I don't like to say, 'Well I have to win because of this or that.' I have to build my career for my family and to make sure that she's taken care of, obviously, but when I'm in there, I like to be focused on the win. My life commitment is for my family, but in the cage, I'm focused on winning.
Interviewer: Recently, we saw South Park carried over to MMA fighters. What did you think of the representation they did of you?
Mark Hominick: You have to laugh at it. The hematoma, and that image of me from that fight, it's going to be with me for the rest of my career. That won't ever go away, and that's what people are going to remember, so yeah, all you can do is laugh at it. At least people remember the fight, and that's a big part of it.
Interviewer: The ultimate goal is always to get the title, and obviously you don't want to look past Yagin, but have you gone back through your fight with Aldo to see where you need to make alterations, in the event that you face him again?
Mark Hominick: Yeah, for sure. Something I've always been trying to work on, is my wrestling. The wrestling really changed the momentum of that fight a few times. If I had blocked a few more of his takedowns, it could have changed the fight, and I could have won the decision. It's something I'm going to be constantly working on. MMA is a game of evolution, and if you're not evolving, you're left behind.
That fight is something I've got to work towards again. I had five wins in a row before I got the shot with Aldo. I hope it wouldn't take that long again, but that's a guy...every time I see him, I want another shot at him. He's the best in the world, and he deserves all the credit he gets. He's the champ, and everybody is gunning for him.
Interviewer: The trend in MMA seems to be that when a fighter loses, they drop down a weight class, because the idea is that the bigger you are, the better. Does that bother you that these guys are starting to flood the division?
Mark Hominick: It's nice because the 145 division is fairly new, and not everyone knows the top guys, so a guy from 55 drops down, like Kenny Florian. Everyone knows his name, and it just brings more credibility and attention to the weight class. I think our division is the most exciting one in MMA, and the more big names you get, the more attention we're going to get. If you're fighting at 145, you're fine by me, and I'm ready to face you [laughs].
Interviewer: It seems like every time there's an event, a WEC fighter is taking hone "of the night" honors. Do you get a rush of pride when one of you guys gets recognized for their accomplishment?
Mark Hominick: It's a sense of pride, for sure. Every show the WEC put on was pure excitement. Obviously the UFC has got the name and the branding behind it, and we're all together now, but yeah, it's definitely like the good old days. You watch some of those fights, and they were amazing, and I am so glad I was a part of it.
Follow Mark via his Twitter, @MarkHominick