UFC's Mark Hominick announces mixed martial arts retirement

Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE

UFC featherweight Mark Hominick announced on Tuesday evening that he is retiring from mixed martial arts (MMA) competition, calling an end to his 32-fight career. Hominick made the announcement on Tuesday's edition of UFC Tonight on FUEL TV, citing his intentions to spend more time with family as his primary reason.

Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) featherweight Mark Hominick (20-12), who is most famous for being one of the pioneers in mixed martial arts (MMA) -- especially in the lighter weight classes -- has retired from professional competition in the sport.

"The Machine" announced the news on Tuesday's edition of "UFC Tonight" on FUEL TV, calling an end to his more than 10-year, 32-fight career.

"For the last, close to 11 years, I've truly been able to live my passion," Hominick said. "Follow my dreams by competing in professional mixed martial arts, especially under the Zuffa banner. But, at UFC 154, that was my last fight in the Octagon. I'm retiring and looking to move on to the next phase of my career."

The 30-year-old competed last at UFC 154 last November, losing a unanimous decision to Pablo Garza for his fourth loss in a row. While his career closed out on a losing streak, the defeats will not define Hominick's memory as a competitor.

Hominick had many memorable moments in the sport in his illustrious career, and perhaps the most defining was his valiant effort against UFC featherweight champion Jose Aldo, which took place in Hominick's home province of Ontario at UFC 129 in front of 55,000 fans.

The Canadian said his choice to call it a career was due to more than just his losing streak. After a long and grueling career in what is perhaps the most difficult sport on the planet, Hominick decided it was time to take his focus off fighting and give more attention to his family, especially considering he has a second child on the way.

"There are a few [reasons for retiring]," He explained. "As a family, I have a young daughter and another young daughter on the way, and I think that's the next phase of my life. I'm going to put a lot of focus into that and, moving forward, I'm still going to be involved in this sport. This is my passion, it fuels me. But, I think it's a commitment that I'm looking forward to make. I haven't been able to make the same kind of sacrifices I believe that got me to the title fight with Jose Aldo. And I think it's more important for me to focus on [my family]. Again, I'll be moving on with my life as a part of mixed martial arts, just from the outside."

Hominick will always have a place in history as his bout with Aldo was the first featherweight title bout in UFC history. More so than being remembered as pioneer for the lighter weight classes, Hominick was also one of the great ambassadors of the sport, especially north of the border in his native Canada.

Some believe Hominick has not been the same fighter since the loss of his friend, mentor, trainer and brother-in-law Sean Tompkins passed away in Aug. 2011. While that subject is up for debate, Hominick says the passing of the renowned trainer had nothing to do with his choice to retire from the sport.

"Losing Sean was a definite blow to everyone at Team Tompkins. But, to me, it motivated me because I wanted to prove to everyone that we were going to carry on his name, tradition and legacy." Hominick explained. "Especially after everything he did for us. That is something I will always strive to do, but from the outside of the Octagon. That's not a reason I can point at [for retiring]. I just think it's time for me to go out and focus on the next part of my life.

"I've sacrificed a lot and I've achieved a lot of my goals and I've set out what I wanted to do in mixed martial arts. Now it's time for my family and what the next phase brings me."

Although Hominick fell into a slump in the latter portion of his career, he still managed to have a long and successful run in the UFC, compiling a 3-4 record in his time with the organization.

The 145-pound fighter made his MMA debut in 2002 and holds notable career victories over Yves Edwards, Yves Jabouin, Leonard Garcia and George Roop.

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