, a nine-year MMA veteran who will be fighting for his first major title in less than two weeks when he meets Jose Aldo at UFC 129
, is finally cashing in.
And fittingly enough for the Ontario-born Hominick, a Canadian organization is backing him for the biggest fight of his career.
The Hamilton Tiger-Cats of the Canadian Football League announced on Wednesday that they had "entered a partnership"
with the native of Thamesford, Ontario. In other words, the Ticats will be one of Hominick's sponsors for his UFC featherweight title fight.
As part of the partnership, Hominick will also be featured at 'MMA Night' at Hamilton's Ivor Wynne Stadium on July 16 when the Ticats host the Saskatchewan Roughriders.
According to a release by the team, Hominick will wear a Ticats hat as he enters the cage and will bear the team's logo and Web site
on his shorts during the fight.
"I am very excited about this partnership with the Tiger-Cats," Hominick said at a press conference on Wednesday. "I can't wait to enter the octagon, in Canada, with millions of CFL and Ticats fans cheering me on. I am grateful for the Ticats support and look forward to representing the black and gold with pride." Tom Wright
, UFC Canada's director of operations, served as CFL commissioner from 2002 to 2007, however, he told MMA Fighting on Wednesday that he had nothing to do with the deal.
"A savvy move by a good marketing organization to line up with a great Canadian like Mark – purely coincidental with my years as Commish," Wright said.
The NBA's Sacramento Kings have been a long-time sponsor of UFC welterweight Diego Sanchez.
UFC 129 will mark the first major MMA event in Ontario since the province legalized the sport on Jan. 1, 2011. It will also shatter the North American MMA record for tickets sold (55,000) and live gate ($11 million).
"The popularity of MMA in Southern Ontario and in particular the Hamilton area is no secret," Ticats president Scott Mitchell said. "We look forward to working with Mark to promote an exciting game on July 16th featuring great MMA fighters and thousands of MMA enthusiasts. As an exciting, tough, local Canadian athlete, Mark embodies many of our organization's characteristics. We are glad to be in Mark's corner as he contends for the featherweight title and we know our fans in the TigerTown region will be behind him."