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Mark Hominick: Meeting “The Machine”

By AddictedMMA, As I step into the Adrenaline gym, a renovated warehouse in London Ontario, I can hear the music playing and the slapping sounds of people hitting heavy bags. The feel of people training was in the air, from the warm welcome I received from Alex Gasson working the front desk to Mark “The Machine” Hominick and Sam “Hands of Stone” Stout talking in the background.

Mark Hominick and I exchange pleasantries and we find our way to a quieter back room for my chance to throw some questions at him.

Len:
Hello Mark, my name is Len VanderHeiden and I am representing a fan based website called www.addictedMMA.com. Thank you for taking time out of your busy schedule to speak to me.

Mark:
“No problem.”

Len:
So I would like to throw a couple of questions at you, let our fans get to know you a bit more. When was your start in Mixed Martial Arts and what was it that influenced your start?

Mark:
“Grade 9 orientation gym class, we went to a local martial arts gym. I always liked martial arts movies and martial arts in general, but this was my first time I ever got to practice anything like that. It was kind of like a watered-down version of mixed martial arts, we did some striking and grappling. I signed up that night.”

Len:
You are given the moniker “The Machine”. Can you give us some insight on how that nickname came about?

Mark:
“When I started training with Sean Tompkins, I was 17 years old. He thought the way I trained was like a machine, never tired, never slowed down, no emotion. He said I gave it everything l had, like a machine.”

Len
Can you describe a typical day in the life of Mark Hominick?

Mark:
“In between fights is a bit different. During training camps, which are 8 – 10 weeks, we do two two hour a day sessions. Mornings are more about the strength, conditioning and technical aspects of the sport. In the evenings is more geared towards sparring.”

Len:
Do you consider your strength to be stand up or ground fighting? What is your favorite weapon to use in each of those categories?

Mark:
“My stand up is probably my strength. My main strength would be my speed and technical ability. On the feet my favourite punch is the body punch, the liver shot. Really underutilized punch in MMA. I like to use it because not many MMA fighters protect the body properly. In a fight there is always a time to use it and it really slows the opponent down. On the ground my favourite move is the triangle choke. It’s in my game, my repertoire, and I feel I can get it.”

Len:
You are the pupil of a highly regarded trainer Shawn Tompkins. Can you briefly describe his influence in your fight game?

Mark:
“He influenced me more that in just the fight game. He has been a mentor to me. He is one of those coaches that works just as hard as you do. He wants it as bad as you do. He takes his job home, just like I do. He is always thinking about how to improve the training, how to break down an opponent, how to motivate his fighters. He leads by example. He puts in all the extra hours and it’s appreciated.”

Len:
In your opinion, who is the toughest opponent you have ever faced?

Mark:
“Hatsu Hioki, just because he has got a couple of wins over me. He is just a well rounded fighter, a top ranked fighter in the 145 pound division. He’s got a lot of tools that give a lot of problems to a fighter. He is almost six feet tall at 145 pounds which makes him hard to reach. He is just a strong fighter everywhere. He is a strong fighter on the ground and his distance as well. We fought five rounds for the TKO title, it went to split decision, he got the nod but I thought I won. It’s one of those fights I would like to get back.”

Len:
So you would like to fight him again?

Mark:
“For sure. Anyone that beats you, you want to erase that loss. I thought I beat him.”

Len:
With the featherweight and bantamweight divisions now be added to the UFC roster, and your recent dominate win over George Roop under that banner. Can you tell us how you find it to now fight for the UFC compared to smaller promotions?

Mark:
“It’s like night and day, the amount of recognition you get fighting for the UFC. The division has not changed, just brought over from WEC. The recognition has been overnight. The phone has been ringing off the hook, people inquiring about the next fight. With my last fight and so many more eyes on the UFC there is much more sponsors with the UFC. We do this for a living, so it’s a big deal. Getting the same notoriety and the respect the UFC fighters get is huge.”

Len:
So you feel the UFC has thrust you into a brighter spotlight?

Mark:
“Oh without question. There are more eyes on the UFC. So many people relate UFC with MMA and MMA with UFC. It’s the biggest brand in the world and to be fighting under that banner is huge for a fighter.”

Len:
How has it been since your return home on 21 January 2011?

Mark:
“It’s been a whirlwind. Phone is non-stop and great support from the media. The support from the fans is amazing especially after a quick win like I just had. It was a fight everyone was talking about. The support has been amazing, especially the local support.”

Len:
You get to co-main event the show with the greatest name in Canadian MMA, George St.Pierre, in front of a home crowd of over 40,000 fans. This will be the first featherweight title fight in UFC history. Can you tell us how this makes you feel?

Mark:
“That’s exactly it, it’s a part of history, I am really honoured. Not only for me, but for the fans. They will not only get to see this match but get to see GSP defend his title. This is kind of surreal for me. It’s for the history in all aspects. The first time the 145 belt has been on the line, to have it in Ontario. Everything is in line, a huge opportunity for me to make a statement.”

Len:
Now for some questions from the fans on www.addictedMMA.com:

From Lee Rabey:
You are facing arguably the most in form, dangerous MMA fighter in the world right now in Jose Aldo. How do you begin to prepare for a fighter like him?

Mark:
“The one thing about Jose Aldo is that a lot of fighters have him built up so much. He deserves all the credit in the world, but a lot of guys are beat before they step into the cage. Take Mike Brown in his fight against him. Mike Brown is one of the toughest 145ers in the world, he went in there I believe intimidated by him. He normally puts pressure on guys and he let Aldo dictate the pace. That is something I am not able to do, I have to go in there and push the pace, put the pressure on. He has never faced a strong kick-boxer like me that likes to move forward.”

From Kevin Miller:
Though we have rarely seen it, Aldo reputedly has a very dangerous ground game. Where do you see this fight taking place; and, if it does go to the ground, how do you see it playing out?

Mark:
“Like I said, he is one of the most well rounded fighters in the world and has not had to rely on his ground game. I want to keep it on the feet. I know that he is a world champion in jiu jitsu and arguably my weakness is on the ground so I need to keep the fight standing and dictate the pace. If he goes for a takedown I will use my wrestling to stand back up and keep it standing.”

From Bobby Hill:
What part of your fight arsenal does Jose Aldo have no answer for?

Mark:
“My speed and my pressure. Those things have really worked for me in my last three fights. My fight with Roop, and the fights before that with Leonard Garcia and Yves Jabouin. My pressure and my hands were what won those fights.”

Len:
So you are expecting a new addition to your family in May. Congratulations!

Mark:
“Thank you.”

Len:
What advice would you give to aspiring fighters about balance between this career and family life? And what steps have you taken to ensure you keep that balance?

Mark:
“Well before I was heavily involved in training, I did not have any social life. All I did was a train, all I thought about was training. Sometimes it overwhelms you. You can’t let that happen, you have to remember that life is about balance. It’s about what’s important and both things are important. Training is important but to spend time with your family and friends is also very important. I am still learning.”

Len:
Who would you like to give a “shout out” to?

Mark:
“Just the fans in general, for all the support over the years. The Canadian fans especially leading up to this title fight. Team Tompkins and all my friends and family.”

Len:
And finally, for the www.addictedMMA.com fans. What are you addicted to?

Mark:
“Haha…MMA”

Len:
Outstanding Mark. Thank you for your time and from all the fans at www.addictedMMA.com we wish you all the very best at UFC 129 and your fight against Jose Aldo.

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