As a whole, Saturday Night's UFC 129 event was pretty great. Lots of exciting fights, lots of finishes, and HUGE SOTN/KOTN/FOTN bonuses. While the main event seemed "boring" to some, the card itself still was a great success in my book.
But the thing I wanted to address with this particular post is the Aldo-Hominick title fight. Specifically, the heart, determination, and mental toughness of Hominick. Lots of fans and media members counted Mark out of this fight before the bell even rang, and Mr. Hominick did a wonderful job of showing us all what he is really made of.
I'm mostly writing this post out of emotion. As I sat in my chair on Saturday night and watched Hominick get dropped multiple times with punches, eat viscous leg kicks and then act as if they never happend, and get a hematoma the size of a baseball on his forehead, I couldn't help but gain enormous respect for a fighter I already admired. But not only that-I actually started to get jealous. Not of his fame, not of the fact he was fighting for a title, not even of the fact that he has my dream job of being a real, professional fighter. No, I was getting jealous of the fact that he had the privilege of being in a fight like that.
Some might find it odd that I call getting a beating like "The Machine" received during some of that fight a "privilege". But consider this-Mark gets to look himself in the mirror, and know, without a doubt, he left absolutely everything he had in the cage. All of it. He found out exactly what he is made of-and it is the stuff of legends. He knows that no matter what, he isn't going to quit. "To the death" is a very easy thing to say. Living it, doing it, is much, much harder. I have seen more popular fighters, higher paid fighters, supposedly "better" fighters than him quit after less. Mark ripped his heart out and left it lying on the mat.
Additionally, Hominick decided it wasn't "enough" to survive till the bell with the champ, he wanted more. He wanted the win. The 5th round of that fight was one of the most inspiring, exciting, emotional rounds of fighting I have ever watched. I dont know why this fight affected me so much, but it did. Hominick went out there, took Aldo down (to where he is supposedly even BETTER than he is on the feet) and tried, for 5 straight minutes, to end the fight. You could see it on his face-he didn't care if he was down 4 round to none, every second that was still on the clock was a chance for him to win the fight. And he did absolutely everything he could to win.
I would love to feel what Mark Hominick is feeling today. Pain, soreness, and all. Who can say Mark "lost" anything Saturday night? In my book, he won more than the belt. He knows exactly who he is. He knows exactly how mentally strong he is. Not everyone can say that. We all like to think we would never give up in a fight. I know I like to think that. But I have never had to face the adversity that some people have. Mark had his chances to quit. But I'm willing to bet, if he was asked "did you ever think about quitting?" he would have to ask you what the word "quitting" means. I dont think its in his vocabulary.