A lot has happened since the last time Nate Homme fought in an MMA cage.
DREAM opened its doors. And closed them. And re-opened them. Brock Lesnar debuted in the UFC, won the UFC heavyweight championship, left the sport due to illness for nearly a year, defended his title, lost his title, left the sport for another 14 months due to illness, fought again and finally retired. Georges St-Pierre won back and has since successfully defended his UFC welterweight championship seven times. Gina Carano lost her first fight to Cristiane Santos, became an American Gladiator, graced the cover of ESPN's "Body" Issue, then starred in a feature film. Jon "Bones" Jones made his MMA debut and then proceeded to run up a 17-1 record with his only loss coming by disqualification.
Needless to say, the sport is completely different now than it was over five years ago when MMA fans last had seen one of the Midwest's best prospects, Nate Homme.
The jiu-jitsu wizard had a run of tough breaks health-wise, including a back fuse and an elbow scope which held him out of practice and the cage for the better part of the past decade.
Like any high-level athlete, however, Homme was determined to get back to where he once was. On Saturday night at the Sterling Entertainment Group/Driller Promotions "Downtown Showdown 10" event, Homme got his chance to return to the cage.
Homme didn't take it slow, either, as he got right in the cage with a veteran of the sport who had 86 professional fights leading up to Saturday night's bout.
A win would give Homme the confidence that he needed to continue with his sport but a loss may very well have signaled the end of this once highly-touted prospect.
Thanks to the very talented Sandy Hackenmueller of Fight to Finish Photography, for allowing the use of her photos in this article.