Aldo retained his UFC featherweight title, but Hominick gained a huge amount of respect for the heart he showed, continuing to fight despite Aldo turning his face into a bruised, bloody mess.
"Take your hat off in congratulations to Mark Hominick," Aldo said after the fight. "He's a hell of a fighter, and he came out for five rounds, giving his all."
But while Hominick showed he was a hell of a fighter in the fifth round, Aldo definitely won the first four.
Aldo scored some vicious leg kicks in the first round and also landed two takedowns, damaging Hominick with ground and pound, with hard elbows from inside Hominick's guard. Hominick had to be pleased that he was able to land a couple of punches and at one point threaten Aldo with an armbar, but it was clearly Aldo's round.
Early in the second round Aldo began to look tired, and Hominick showed more energy. But after a couple minutes of trading strikes, Aldo managed another takedown and ended up inside Hominick's guard again, where he could land more elbows. Referee Big John McCarthy eventually stood them up, but Aldo took Hominick right back down and ended up in side control.
In the third round Hominick began to land more punches, as Aldo seemed to be misjudging the punches that were coming at him and eating punches that he should have dodged. However, with about 90 seconds left in the third round Aldo connected with a hard right hand that staggered Hominick, then knocked Hominick to his knees with a left hand and jumped on him on the ground. Although the third was the best round Hominick had, it was still Aldo's round.
By the start of the fourth round the damage to Hominick's face really started to show, and Aldo seemed to be getting more comfortable with his kicks, including a couple of hard kicks to Hominick's knee that had Hominick limping. Midway through the fourth Aldo landed a very hard right hand that knocked Hominick on his back, and Aldo pounced, hitting Hominick hard on the forehead. That caused an enormous amount of swelling, with a hemotoma the size of a baseball on Hominick's head. Amazingly, the doctor examined the swelling and allowed the fight to continue.
Even more amazing is that Hominick, despite having a face that looked like something out of a horror movie, came out like a warrior in the fifth round, got on top of Aldo on the ground for the first time and actually did some damage to Aldo with ground and pound. Aldo appeared to be exhausted, while Hominick still had plenty of steam. Over the final minutes of the fight, Hominick pounded away at Aldo, easily winning the fifth round and showing that he was by far the better conditioned athlete. (Hominick even did some pushups in the Octagon immediately after the fifth round, showing that he still wasn't tired.)
Hominick, whose wife is due to give birth any day, looked into the TV cameras and said to his wife after the fight, "I hope I didn't put you into labor, I know you're due any minute. I love you."
The judges scored the fight 48-45, 48-46 and 49-46 for Aldo, so it wasn't particularly close. Hominick showed an incredible amount of toughness and resilience in continuing to fight, but Aldo showed that he's the best featherweight in the world.
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