Featherweight Eddie Yagin is learning the ins and outs of the UFC, but it’s more of a trial by fire than anything.

After dropping a decision to Junior Assuncao at UFC 135 in September, the promotion “rewarded” the former Tachi Palace champion with a UFC 145 main card bout against one-time title challenger Mark Hominick.

 

“A win over Hominick would mean everything to my career,” Yagin told The MMA Corner. “It’s the biggest fight of my life and a win could push me up to the top 10 in the rankings. It would be the beginning of a new chapter in my career.”

 

The well-rounded Hawaiian reflected back on his first Octagon appearance, citing the enormity of the situation.

Yagin (R) connects with a right hand (Paul Thatcher/Fight! Magazine)

“I was a little starstruck,” he admitted. “When I walked into the cage, it was like walking into a mansion. It was the biggest cage that I had ever fought in. It was definitely different. And the fact that there was so many people in the crowd, it was a new experience for me.”

Yagin faced a significant size disadvantage against the former lightweight Assuncao, which had some speculate that he should drop down to the bantamweight division.

“If I had to, or the UFC wanted me to, then I would,” said Yagin. “But if there’s no need to, I won’t. Honestly, I don’t even remember weighing 135 pounds in my life. I remember being in seventh grade wrestling and I wrestled at 145.”

Despite the loss, Yagin— firmly planted in the featherweight division—looks back on the Assuncao fight as a learning experience.

“I got a taste of the UFC,” described the featherweight. “They are a totally different promotion from every place else I’ve ever fought.”

Another factor that may have contributed to Yagin’s performance at UFC 135 was Denver’s higher altitude—something he won’t face in Atlanta on April 21.

“(The altitude) definitely took a toll on me,” said Yagin. “I flew out to Colorado about three weeks early to get acclimated because everyone had talked about it and that kind of scared me. This time, everything is closer to sea level and will be a little bit more comfortable.”

Facing a dangerous striker like Hominick might seem like a daunting task to other fighters in the 145-pound division, but Yagin is excited at the challenge.

Yagin (R) has been through his fair share of battles (Jeff Sherwood/Sherdog)

“I think it’s going to be nonstop banging,” the Hawaiian explained. “He’s not afraid to throw a punch or get hit, and I’m not afraid to throw a punch or get hit. We’re both coming off losses and hungry for wins.”

With a resume that includes 15 victories, with five coming by form of knockout, five by submission and five by decision, one might assume that Yagin would want to use his skills to avoid Hominick’s striking prowess. However, that’s not the case.

“Honestly, I’d rather it stay standing,” Yagin declared. “I want to stand and bang and give the whole world a show. This is a fight that I hope people will talk about for years to come. ‘Remember that fight between Hominick and Eddie Yagin? Now that was a fight.’ That’s the kind of fight I want to be in.”

Eddie would like to thank Kong at KSA for everything, Alliance MMA in San Diego for their support and his family back home in Hawaii. Follow Eddie on Twitter @EddieYaginMMA

Top Photo: Eddie Yagin (Rob Tatum/The MMA Corner)

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