“Choose a job you love, and you will never have to work a day in your life.”—Confucius
Canadian-born UFC fighter, Mark “the Machine” Hominick (20-8-1) has been fighting professionally since 2002 and is currently riding high on a five fight win streak.
With his latest win against George Roop at UFC: Fight for the Troops 2, Hominick managed to secure the No.1 contender position in the UFC Featherweight category.
He is currently scheduled to take on current UFC Featherweight Champion, Jose Aldo on April 30th at the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Ontario, Canada—the very first UFC event ever to be held in the Canadian mega-city after the recently announced legalization of MMA in Ontario.
Please enjoy my interview.
James Ryan: Hi Mark, how are you today?
Mark Hominick: Very good, thanks.
James Ryan: Congratulations once again on your tremendous win the other night. You looked absolutely amazing!
I was especially impressed with your striking. Very nice.
Mark Hominick: Thank you.
James Ryan: The obvious result of that win is that you now get a shot at Jose Aldo for the Featherweight Championship at UFC 129.
And if that weren’t already enough, you will also get the opportunity to fight in front of your hometown crowd in Toronto—something that a year ago might have seemed very unlikely in terms of a potential venue.
What does it mean for you to finally be able to fight in your home province of Ontario?
Mark Hominick: It’s a dream come true, as well as an honour to be a part of UFC history, as being on the first, largest and highest profile event in the history of the promotion.
Also, it will be the debut of the UFC’s first ever Featherweight Champion, so there’s a lot at stake and I look forward to the opportunity that I have been given.
James Ryan: Excellent.
A lot has changed for you professionally over the past few months, particularly when you factor in the UFC's recent acquisition of the WEC.
What has kept you on track all of these years and what advice would you have for any young fighters looking to turn their passion for MMA fighting into a full-time career?
Mark Hominick: I think one thing that young fighters coming up have to remember is that the sport and a career in MMA are both marathons—not sprints.
There are so many different aspects of the game that need to be covered, and amateur experience is key to ensuring that they are ready for competition. Many fighters try to compete too soon when they are not ready and end up getting deterred or hurt before they are physically and mentally prepared.
James Ryan: That’s great advice, thank you. And speaking of mental toughness…
Throughout the entire career of any professional athlete, there will obviously be many coaches, trainers, mentors, role-models, and so on, that play an important role to the long-term success of that athlete.
Who really stands out the most in your mind for having had the greatest influence on you in your pursuit to become a professional fighter?
Mark Hominick: Without question, Shawn Tompkins has been the biggest and most influential person in my career and life. He has led by example and taught me as much about what it is to be a man, as it is to be a fighter.
He taught me about passion, sacrifice and what it takes to achieve goals.
James Ryan: Wow, sounds like you have a great coach.
How well do you think that you match up to the strengths of Jose Also, particularly against his speed and athleticism?
Mark Hominick: I believe that Jose Aldo is the best pound-for-pound fighter in the world and has skills to finish everywhere. With that being said, I feel I match up well with him in areas that he has been dominating others, such as in the striking and speed areas.
My strengths are my hands, footwork and cardio, and they will pose problems for Jose where he has outclassed others in those areas.
James Ryan: I am definitely looking forward to this fight. By the sounds of it, my guess is that it will be very explosive.
Curious—what’s the toughest challenge that you have had to overcome since becoming a professional fighter?
Mark Hominick: I truly love what I do, and have always been passionate about the sport, the training and all things that come with it. If you truly love what you do, it is easy to stay motivated and move forward when problems such as losses, money or other issues arise.
The love of the sport has always kept me motivated and focused on the goals of becoming a world champion.
One area that I really had to work at though, was not being so concerned about what my opponent was brining to the table, such as a strong wrestling or BJJ game, as opposed to just being confident in my own ability to impose my will and strengths onto my opponent.
James Ryan: I read that you are expecting your first child in May—congratulations!
Mark Hominick: Yes, thank you. My wife and I are expecting our first baby in early May—a girl. We are both so excited to be parents, something that we have always wanted to be one day.
James Ryan: Would you ever want your daughter to grow up to become an MMA fighter?
Mark Hominick: I would never push that on someone, especially my own.
A fighter has something inside that is unable to be pushed or forced onto someone, and is what drives them on their own. You can be taught to train, get better, and so on, but the will to fight is inside of you.
James Ryan: very good point. Thank you very much for your time today Mark, and I really look forward to seeing you again in Toronto this April.
Best of luck!!!
Mark Hominick: Thanks again, James.
This is my interview. If you don’t like it…I have others. Check them out at www.mrjamesryan.com