The greatest boxer to ever walk the face of the earth once said, "Inside of a ring or out, ain't nothing wrong with going down. It's staying down that's wrong."
UFC featherweight Mark Hominick was down.
But as Muhammad Ali stated, it's not being knocked down that defines us, but rather returning to our feet.
On August 14th, 2011, Hominick lost a dear friend when mixed martial arts mastermind Shawn Tompkins unexpectedly passed away.
"Shawn has always been my mentor," Hominick told Bleacher Report. "That won't change."
"He's the reason I can do this every day of my life," Hominick said. "He's led by example. Losing him was a huge loss for me. It's my job and responsibility to carry on his tradition and legacy by going out there and fighting and winning for him."
The adversity didn't come to an end as Hominick strapped on his gloves to take on Chan Sung Jung less than four months later at UFC 140.
Once again, Hominick was down.
Just seven seconds into his featherweight matchup, Hominick found himself defeated as the victim of a knockout blow.
"It's the nature of the sport," Hominick said. "You see it happen time and time again. But that's what makes it so exciting at times. It's the unpredictability of the sport."
"It was definitely a very tough loss for me," he said. "I went in there with so much emotion that I normally don't fight with, and I paid the price for it. I threw a looping punch that I know I would never throw. He followed it with a nice right so my hat goes off to him.
"I'm sure our paths will cross down the road and when that time comes, I'll get a chance at redemption," Hominick said.
But before that can happen, Hominick will meet UFC newcomer Eddie Yagin when the UFC travels to Atlanta, Ga. for UFC 145.
With two consecutive losses and his back against the wall, Hominick will attempt to return to the winning column for the first time in over a year.
"Eddie is a veteran of the sport," Hominick said. "Because he hasn't fought in the UFC, a lot of fans don't know who he is. He's been fighting since 2000, and he's fought just about everyone in the sport. He's a game-time fighter, so I'm excited about it.
"My technique and speed will be huge advantages, especially when I'm on my feet," he said. "He's got a lot of power in his right hand, and he's got a great guillotine. He's dangerous and a great fighter. I'm taking him serious, and I'm prepared in every area."
Hominick's experience with adversity has allowed him to appreciate every moment of life.
When he enters the Octagon on Saturday, April 21st, he'll be fighting for more than just himself.
He'll be fighting for Tompkins.
"I don't care if it takes one minute or 15 minutes. I'm just going in there to win," he said.
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