Mark Hominick has had his eye on UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo for quite some time. Not always as a fighter he knew he’d one day collide with though.
The man who will face Aldo in the co-main event of UFC 129 in Toronto this week noticed the Brazilian right away, when he was keeping an eye out for another fighter making his debut in the WEC.
“The first fight I really noticed him was against ‘Pequeno’ (Alexandre Nogueira), back in the day, when Nogueira fought in Shooto, and he was the champ. I was excited him coming to the WEC and watched Aldo just dismantle him. I was like, wow, this guy’s for real,” Hominick commented when appearing on MMAWeekly Radio.
Aldo came out on top with a second round TKO over the former top ranked featherweight, and then went on a tear, winning every other fight he had in the WEC, including taking the 145-pound title and defending it two more times.
“It was like a snowball effect, every fight was better,” Hominick said. “So I was watching him as a fan, not just as a competitor.”
But that attitude started to change as Hominick also started racking up the victories, climbing closer and closer to a featherweight title shot. At that point, Aldo stopped being a fighter he admired and started to be a fighter with a target on his back.
Coming into the fight at UFC 129, both Aldo and Hominick are known as dominant strikers. Aldo comes in with a strong Muay Thai attack, while Hominick was born of a more traditional kickboxing style.
Either way, they both know how to put your lights out, and Hominick is ready to deliver his own brand of dynamite to the champion on Saturday.
“I think I’m a little bit more technical with my hands, and he’s a little more explosive with his knees and kicks,” Hominick said comparing his stand-up with Aldo. “We both have the capability of ending fights quick. It’s one of those fights. It’s going to be exciting.”
On paper, the fight between Aldo and Hominick appears to be a striker’s dream match just waiting to happen, but the Canadian doesn’t underestimate that this isn’t a kickboxing match.
Hominick has pulled off slick submissions over the years, and Aldo of course comes from a Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu background. To say that this fight will only happen on the feet is crazy, according to Hominick.
He expects it to go anywhere and everywhere.
“We’ve got to look at it, Jose’s a world champion in jiu-jitsu, so if we’re treating this like a kickboxing fight, we’re in the wrong sport. We’re ready everywhere,” Hominick commented.
“Everybody’s talking about the stand-up just because that’s where we’ve won a lot of our fights. You wouldn’t be surprised to see either of us shooting for a takedown, and mixing it up. This is MMA and it’s for the world title. You have to be ready for everything.”
Is Hominick playing some mind games with Aldo, putting it in his head that he may have to fend off a takedown or two when they clash in the Octagon? Or is Hominick simply pointing out that he has that in his arsenal if it becomes necessary?
Only Hominick knows, and he’ll let Aldo find out for himself when they meet in Toronto.