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UFC 140’s Mark Hominick feels like ‘an overnight success’ after last fight

Hominick’s opponent, Chan Sung Jung, pulled off the Submision of the Year in his last fight

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Sam Morris

Mark Hominick works out for an upcoming fight in this file photo from Tuesday, September 21, 2010.

A loss isn’t always a loss in the UFC.

In case that statement sounds too obtuse, allow featherweight Mark Hominick to explain. Hominick dropped a unanimous decision in a championship bout against Jose Aldo earlier this year in Toronto at UFC 129, but gained more from the event than any other fighter on the card.

Despite a massive hematoma on his forehead that nearly forced cageside doctors to stop the fight, Hominick battled back and dominated Aldo in the fifth round. He received a roaring ovation from 55,000 people at the Rogers Centre and earned a $129,000 Fight of the Night bonus.

“It was like after 15 years, I was an overnight success,” Hominick said. “You work all these years and finally get that one opportunity. Then, all of a sudden, the whole MMA and UFC community takes notice of your performance.”

Hominick (20-9 MMA, 3-1 UFC) said his performance against Aldo had changed everything about his career. Fans now recognize him more than ever before. He gets three times the amount of interview requests.

The elevated platform, according to Hominick, makes his upcoming bout against Chan Sung Jung (11-3 MMA, 1-0 UFC) at UFC 140 Saturday in Toronto all the more important.

“I almost put (Aldo) away,” Hominick said. “I proved a lot to myself knowing that I’m right there. There’s just a few things I need to change and I can be the world champion.”

Hominick needs to defend himself better and not take as much punishment as he did in the Aldo fight. Hominick has never lacked offense with his technical kickboxing game, but Aldo was able to drop in to land punches and kicks at will through the first four rounds against him.

Jung, better known by his nickname “The Korean Zombie”, looks like a perfect opponent to test Hominick in that regard. Jung comes forward and lets his strikes fly, putting the maximum amount of pressure on his opponents.

“It’s definitely a fan-friendly fight,” Hominick said. “Our styles definitely cater to be exciting. I’m going out there to make a statement. He’s a dangerous opponent everywhere.”

Like Hominick, Jung put an overwhelmingly positive impression on fans in his last outing. Jung defeated Leonard Garcia by forcing him to tap out because of a twister, a body-bending submission that had never been used successfully in the UFC before.

Jung took home Submission of the Year honors for the victory at last week’s Fighters Only World MMA Awards.

“It proves a lot about him as a fighter because he’s known as this reckless, aggressive stand-up fighter,” Hominick said. “To pull off the Submission of the Year showed he was well rounded.”

Hominick used to spend most of his training camp in Las Vegas, but he’ll now stick closer to home near Toronto with the tragic passing of trainer Shawn Tompkins. Hominick said he would make it his mission to carry on Tompkins’ legacy Saturday night and beyond.

A featherweight championship belt is within reach for Hominick. He’s more confident in that than ever before after the way he tested Aldo earlier this year.

“Aldo is one of the best pound-for-pound in the world and Mark was the first one to show he was human and that he’s not bulletproof,” said Sam Stout, Hominick’s training partner. “If the right guy comes along with the right game plan, he can potentially be stopped.”

Case Keefer can be reached at 948-2790 or [email protected]. Follow Case on Twitter at twitter.com/casekeefer.

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