When it comes performance, MMA is like the NFL. If you perform badly, you get cut. In the UFC, if you lose three fights in a row, you usually get cut. If you lose four in a row, you will certainly get cut, except if you are Dan Hardy. Mark Hominick is in that situation as he squares off against Pablo Garza in featherweight action to kick off the main card portion of UFC 154 this Saturday night.
UFC 154 takes places from the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada. The main card begins at 10 p.m. Eastern on pay-per-view.
Hominick suffered his third straight loss against Eddie Yagin at UFC 145 in April by split decision. It was a fight a lot of people felt Hominick won. The Canadian thought he won the fight, but felt he did things wrong in the fight that swayed the judges' decision. Hominick told Bleacher Report,
I thought I won the fight. He (Yagin) landed two big power shots that scored knockdowns and that's what got him the nod. On my end, I think I was a little bit too one dimensional in that fight. I treated it like a boxing match. I wasn't mixing it up with kicks and takedowns.
For this camp, I focused on going back to my roots. I come from a kickboxing background and that put everything back to full circle. My grappling and wrestling game is always improving. I'm keeping it simple.
Hominick used to be trained by Shawn Tompkins until his tragic passing in August of 2011. Hominick reverted back to earlier fighting days as he brought in former UFC bantamweight Jeff Curran for his fight against Yagin, and Curran is around for this fight as well.
When Shawn passed away, each one of us from the team realized we had to find a head coach. We are not ever leaving Team Tompkins because we are still that core unit. We also need a leader in that corner. It was an easy decision to go with Jeff because I started with Jeff in 2004-2005.
He cornered me for my first two fights with Shawn against Yves Edwards at UFC 58 and Jorge Gurgel after that. I was very comfortable with him as a coach, as a person and as a friend. It was a very easy transition for me.
Tompkins and Hominick were as close as close can be. They were the best of friends outside of the cage. People can go through severe funks, and when you're a fighter, you have to have supreme focus at all times. Hominick has lost his last two fights without Tompkins and feels that Tompkins' passing hasn't affected him more than he realized and caused the losing streak to continue.
I don't want to use that as an excuse at all. It has motivated me because I know that I have a responsibility to carry on his name and legacy. It has never been like that. Obviously I will have a piece of me that's always going to be missing whether it's in my corner, during training camp or just everyday life.
That's something that I'm going to have to figure out as I go. Because there isn't one person that's going to be replacing him, no question about that. I don't look at it as something that's bringing me down.
After fighting for 11 years like Hominck has, sometimes the ability to find that hunger and motivation to fight can start to wane. The featherweight says that hasn't ever been the case.
Hunger and motivation has never been a factor in my life. I've always been hungry, motivated and been in shape. I've always woke up in the morning and not any other desire, but to get on the mat and train. Anyone who has trained with me or worked with me knows that.
Hominick's opponent this Saturday, Pablo Garza, is riding a two-fight losing streak heading into the fight. The former featherweight title contender knows Garza poses challenges for him heading into this key tilt.
He's (Garza) very dangerous. I think the biggest thing is his height and reach. He's the biggest guy in the featherweight division. His reach on the ground and on the feet are major advantages for him in the fight.
This is a fight where both guys are fighting to keep their jobs, but the man known as 'The Machine" has a different and unique take.
"I feel like I'm fighting for my job every day," Hominick stated. "The thing I'm fighting for is the W."
Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand.
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