Two men moving in opposite career directions collided in the cage last night (Nov. 17, 2012) as lanky North Dakotan Pablo Garza took on former featherweight title challenger Mark Hominick in the opening bout of the UFC 154 main card in Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Hominick entered the fight with a three fight losing streak, while Garza had actually lost two straight as well. Something had to give. While "The Machine" had the skills on the feet to win this fight, he simply gave it away with an inability to stop takedowns or get up from his back.
The first round of this fight was incredible as both men exchanged heavy strikes. Hominick was finding a home for his crisp right hand, but Garza responded with aggression via knees, kicks and straight punches. It was a blistering pace set by both men and Hominick landed a very significant shot, hurting "The Scarecrow" with a sharp left hand to the body.
Undeterred, Garza popped back to his feet, recovering pretty quickly and going right back on the attack, landing his best punch of the fight and backing Hominick off, although it wasn't enough to win back the round.
Garza completely shifted his strategy for rounds two and three, working for takedowns and punishing Hominick from top position with heavy punches and elbows. Hominick offered little resistance off his back, occasionally going for an omaplata but he could never lock it in and Garza remained on top, hammering home those sharp elbows and busting open some big cuts on the former title challenger.
Even when Hominick worked his way back to his feet, he was quickly put back on the ground by Garza's surprisingly improved offensive wrestling. There was no answer as Garza coasted through the final two rounds to win a unanimous decision.
For Mark Hominick, he actually looked good in the first round, scoring with leg kicks and technical punches on the feet. He was mixing up his attack and had Garza in trouble, but he couldn't put it together enough to the pound out a victory. After the first round, he completely fell apart. His defensive wrestling completely failed him and his inability to work his way back to his feet after being put on his back. After a strong start, he just couldn't continue the momentum and wilted.
Dana White mentioned that they were not going to cut Hominick despite four straight losses. At this point, the only opponents that would make sense would be someone without a UFC win like a debuter or perhaps the equally-reeling Josh Grispi or Maximo Blanco.
For Pablo Garza, he actually held his own on the feet with Hominick, throwing a wide variety of strikes from knees, kicks and straight punches with his long reach. He also played it very smart. While he wasn't blown out in the first round, he did likely lose it so he shifted his strategy, and made the proper adjustment to attack Hominick with his offensive wrestling and ground and pound. He was active enough from top position to avoid stand-ups and he really busted Hominick's face up with some big elbows and punches. The final two rounds were very lopsided in his favor and that was entirely due to his solid adjustments.
So what did you think, Maniacs?
Did Garza win that fight or did Hominick give it away? Should Hominick keep his job in the UFC despite four straight losses inside the Octagon?