September 30, 2011
Mark Hominick has had a roller coaster of a year. He went from a TKO of George Roop to a five-round decision loss to featherweight champ Jose Aldo to the birth of his daughter to the sudden and shocking death of his coach Shawn Tompkins. Next, he has to face Chan Sung Jung, also known as "The Korean Zombie," at UFC 140, and for the first time, will prepare for a fight without Tompkins in his corner.
Hominick, who spoke to Cagewriter as part of a lobbying trip to Ottawa, Can., said that he will use the turmoil of the year in his December fight.
"The passing of Shawn was obviously beyond a shocker. He was the best man in my wedding. He was more than just a mentor in the sport. He became a life mentor for me. That's a huge void, but everyone on our team has stepped up. We became closer because of it, because we know we all have to step up to try to fill that void. It's our duty to carry on his legacy: to keep training, to keep winning, to keep performing in the cage."
Hominick, along with Team Tompkins members Chris Horodecki and Sam Stout (Tompkins' brother-in-law), is focused on continuing the Team Tompkins legacy.
"This is going on 15 years that we've all been together. We're a very tight-knit group, and that's what we're trying to stress right now. To keep that unity. Even Shawn's dad stepped up. Shawn's dad came into the gym and talked to the group, and Shawn's brothers. Just kind of letting everyone know that we're not sitting idly by. We're working for his legacy."
That loss to Aldo came during UFC 129, the UFC's biggest event. It took place in the sold-out Rogers Centre, just an hour from Hominick's hometown of London, Ont. He says that being in that fight taught him what it means to be at the top of the heap, and how much he wants to get back there.
"There's a lot of extra pressure, a lot of extra time and a lot of extra commitment for being the title contender. Being the hometown guy in the biggest show in UFC history in an arena an hour from where I lived definitely overwhelmed me at times, so I have a newfound respect for it. I know I have to make certain changes to make sure that not only can I make it there, but I'm staying at the top."
Hominick's next bout will again take place in Toronto. He won't have the pressure of being a co-main eventer, but he will have to face the always difficult Jung. He plans to draw on the experiences of his WEC win over Leonard Garcia.
"It's going to be pretty similar to the Leonard Garcia fight. Very similar, very wild. The main thing is just getting a wide variety of sparring partners. You've got to get someone who is all over the place."
For the first time, Hominick will come to the Octagon as a father. His daughter was born weeks after the loss to Aldo. He says that his daughter's birth hasn't changed him as a fighter, but does add some perspective to his days.
"She puts a smile on my face. I started learning that it's not your time any more. It's their time. They're the moments of the day that matter."
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