After an impressive five-round battle against Jose Aldo in April 2011, where Mark Hominick gave the Featherweight champion the toughest fight of his title reign, the downward slide of "The Machine" has been considerable.
Once a reliable commodity with snap-bang stand up and a boatload of mixed martial arts (MMA) experience to give him options in almost any situation, he's since dropped two bouts since the Aldo defeat, including a seven-second knockout loss to Chan-Sung Jung and getting outworked by the game, but limited, Eddie Yagin last April.
Pablo Garza is on a similar career trajectory, dropping his last two, and is in dire need of a win. One thing Hominick has going for him that nobody else at 145 pounds does is bankable in a rematch with Aldo -- he gave the champ quite a tussle, but he's going to have to put some wins together to warrant a rematch.
If he doesn't get it against Garza later this evening (Nov. 17, 2012) at the Bell Centre in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, he's pretty much in Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) purgatory.
Check out a complete breakdown of the UFC 154 main card fight between Mark Hominick vs. Pablo Garza below:
Hominick can be very effective if you let him sit back and make his own pace. This is where Garza has to force the issue, with exchanges that make Hominick use energy and risk himself early. Garza's best shot to win -- his only shot, really -- is on the ground, to smother and ride out a decision. He's not going to beat Hominick in a kickboxing-style match. For Hominick, picking his spots and angles and steering clear of tie-ups and takedowns will allow him to build up points and frustrate Garza.
Hominick has a boatload of experience and should, on paper, be able to pull this one out. His underrated jiu-jitsu has gotten him out of some bad spots, and it's unlikely Garza will be able to steamroll him in a one-sided lay-and-pray, much less an active ground-and-pound.
However, he is getting long in the tooth and sometimes being on the downside of a career means exactly that -- a guy doesn't bring it the way he used to. Garza will be amped up for this one and will give it his best but he will take too many shots on the feet while being unable to control Hominick for long enough on the ground the sway the judges.
Hominick via late technical knockout or decision
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Jason Probst can be reached at twitter.com/jasonprobst