Mark Hominick didn’t win the UFC featherweight belt Saturday night, but he did win respect and the biggest payday of his life.
And with a final-round flurry against heavily favoured Jose Aldo that had 55,724 at Toronto’s Rogers Centre on their feet, he certainly won lots of new fans.
“I had to fight and prove people wrong, and I believe I did that,” Hominick said from his home in Thamesford. “I think I won over a lot of fans with my heart, and determination and conditioning.
“All I can do is grow from this as a fighter.”
Aldo dominated the first four rounds, leaving Hominick bloodied and wearing a wince-inspiring welt on his forehead. After the fourth round, a ringside doctor checked Hominick, and it looked as if the fight might be stopped.
“John McCarthy really saved the day, the referee,” said Hominick, 28. “He knows me not just as a fighter, he knows me on a personal level … and he knew it would have been devastating if he had of stopped the fight.
“You could see the last round was my best round, and that’s where I almost finished him off. They let me have the opportunity.”
Hominick got on top of Aldo and hammered away in the final round, a storybook comeback one Twitter user compared to Hulk Hogan.
“The crowd was carrying me in that last 30 seconds,” said Hominick, 28. “Each cheer was riding through my punches and I was trying to finish him in that last 30 seconds. I was giving it everything I had.”