by Mick Hammond – MMAWeekly.com
Overall, 2006 was very good to Mark Hominick. Long a hardcore fan favorite in Canada, Hominick successfully defended his TKO 145-pound Championship in January, then broke through into the MMA mainstream with a huge victory over veteran Yves Edwards in Mark’s UFC debut in April.

Following a disappointing title loss in May to Hatsu Hioki in TKO, Mark has rebounded, winning three in a row, including his most recent victory at Ring of Fire 27 this past weekend in Denver, Colorado. He is once again on track towards seemingly imminent stardom.

“I fought Doug Edwards from Team Janjira and I won in the second round by rear naked choke,” said Hominick to MMAWeekly of his win at Ring of Fire. “Actually the whole first two rounds were all stand-up; we didn’t go to the ground at all. I ended up knocking him down with a flurry of punches and then he gave up his back when I started doing a little ground and pound. So it was pretty much – until the end – a Thai boxing fight on the feet.”

Coming from Team Tompkins in Canada, Mark’s background has been deeply rooted in Muay Thai, but in recent years his overall game has improved drastically, as evidenced by his performances this year.

“Especially fighting at the level of the UFC, any fight I’m going to have is going to be a top quality opponent now; I’ve just had to complete my game for sure,” stated Hominick. I’ve gotten a lot of help with that from Jeff Curran and his jiu-jitsu school, as well as from the University of Western Ontario for wrestling.”

Mark continued, “We’ve all really evolved our game this year, all the Team Tompkins fighters have shown it in our fights. This year I went 5-1 and three of my wins were by submission. I’m feeling a lot more comfortable on the ground. I’m not just defending anymore; I’m going for submissions to finish the fights as well.”

Hominick’s evolution as a fighter is just one part of the bigger picture in 2006, a year that according to Mark, has been THE year for him.

“I can’t even explain it…it’s been the best year of my life,” exclaimed Hominick. “Just stepping into the octagon and fighting in the UFC was a dream come true. It’s been a year that I can finally say, “Yeah, this is what I’m going to be doing full-time.” I’ve dedicated myself to training full-time, which has made a huge difference, I’m not going to school anymore, I’ve done that and now it’s time to really show what I have.”

Despite having a breakthrough year, it’s been Mark’s one loss that has continued to play in his mind, but as he explained, he’ll have an opportunity to avenge his defeat in the not too distant future.

“That loss has been haunting me all year,” admitted Hominick. “Ever since the next day after that match I’ve wanted a rematch with [Hatsu] Hioki. He took the title from me in TKO and that’s a title I had nine times, that’s my home there, and he came in and took the belt from me. So I’ve just been waiting for that fight, waiting for that opportunity and I’m finally going to get it in February.”

So with a TKO Championship rematch on the horizon, things are looking food for Mark, but his goals don’t just stay in Canada. Hominick hopes to return to the biggest stage of American MMA to continue to make his stamp here, even if it requires moving up in weight.

“I want to get back to the UFC and fight whoever they put in front of me,” stated Mark. “I’m just hoping by the end of next year they’ll bring in the 145-pound division into the UFC and I think I can be a title holder there. If I have to do that [move up to 155lbs], I’ll do that, for sure. I’ll make the changes in my training to put on size or whatever I have to do to ensure that I can compete and win.”

“Obviously I want to get that TKO title back, maintain that, and be the best fighter at 145lbs – [which] I think I am, can and will be. That’s my goal. If [my future in] the UFC is at 155lbs, I’ll keep doing my best to keep proving myself. That’s my plan, the ultimate goal.” further commented Hominick.

It’s hard to believe that a fighter as successful as Mark was in 2006 can only get better heading into next year, but with his excellent work ethic and constant support from his team and the fans, 2007 may just be the year Hominick puts multiple title belts around his waist.

“I want to thank SPIKE, the biotest company and product SPIKE, without them I wouldn’t be able to do this full time…Full Contact Fighter, GMI and Harder Fight Wear,” concluded Mark. “Thank you very much to all the fans for their support that they’ve given to me. Without the grass roots level fans MMA would be nothing. Finally everyone’s seeing what they’ve been so passionate about. Keep watching out for me – if they’ll line ‘em up, I’ll knock ‘em down.”