Knowing when to walk away is one of the hardest decisions a professional athlete can make. After years of hard work and training to become one of the best in the world, eventually the mind and body just don’t have enough left in them to compete at the world-class level. The presence of mind to know when it is time to walk away is something that most competitors just aren’t born with.

Fortunately for MMA fans, Mark Hominick was not only smart enough to know when to call it quits, he did it before we ended up worrying about his personal safety.

No matter how many times we’re reminded that MMA is the “fastest growing sport in the world,” the fact remains that most professional fighters don’t make as much money as other professional athletes. For most fighters, the time comes when they have to decide if suffering a brutal knockout loss is worth the paycheck that will come with it.

Hominick wasn’t taking such a chance.

Following four straight losses inside the Octagon, the Canadian fighter decided to retire from the sport he’s been attempting to make a living in since 2002. Despite his overall lackluster record and absence of a major title on his resume, Hominick is walking away as one of the most entertaining fighters of the past decade.

One of the most decorated Canadian fighters in the history of the sport, Hominick spent years building his resume in the regional TKO promotion in Canada before earning his shot in the UFC, and once he got his chance to make a statement on a big stage he didn’t disappoint. “The Machine” came out and scored a huge upset win over Yves Edwards in his promotional debut at UFC 58, and after a quick fight back on the regional scene, he earned his second straight victory under the UFC banner by taking out Jorge Gurgel.

Unfortunately, Hominick’s two-fight winning streak inside the Octagon didn’t result in a long-term stay with the promotion, and he was quickly left to earn his worth back inside smaller promotions again. Then the WEC came calling, and Hominick got the first big break of his career.

After a rough 0-2 start to his WEC career, Hominick finally started to string the wins together to make him a contender in a major promotion. Big wins over established veterans like Yves Jabouin and Leonard Garcia earned him a high-profile fight with TUF alum George Roop in Hominick’s return to the UFC after the WEC merger in 2011. When the Canadian came out and wrecked Roop with a barrage of punches in just over a minute, it was enough to earn him a spot in the first UFC featherweight title fight.

It was his performance in that fight that made Hominick a household name in the featherweight division and one of the most popular Canadian fighters in the sport. Despite fighting Jose Aldo, a man who is already considered the greatest featherweight in MMA history by most fans, Hominick brought the champion to his breaking point by taking every bit of punishment Aldo could dish out and attempting to capitalize on an exhausted Brazilian in the later rounds. In the end, Hominick just didn’t have enough to finish the fight, but despite being beaten and battered by one of the most violent fighters in the sport, he earned a ton of respect in defeat.

Following the loss to Aldo, however, things went downhill for Hominick.

A record-setting knockout loss to Chan-Sung Jung signaled the beginning of the end for Hominick, and back-to-back decision losses to Eddie Yagin and Pablo Garza effectively ended “The Machine’s” MMA career.

While Hominick’s time in MMA ended on a low note, there’s no denying his contributions to the sport, especially in his native Canada. Over the years, Hominick has been one of the most beloved and respected fighters in Canadian MMA, and his ability to know the right time to walk away has only earned him more praise from the MMA community.

Years from now when fans look at Hominick’s Wikipedia page and try to analyze his career, they’ll likely conclude that he was a mid-level fighter that got hot long enough to earn a title fight. But the fans that were lucky enough to watch Hominick fight will know just how talented the Canadian striker really was, and more importantly, can use him as an example of a fighter that walked away with his head held high and his brain intact.

Photo: Mark Hominick (Sherdog)

About The Author

Vince Carey
Staff Writer

Vince Carey has been writing about the sport of mixed martial arts since 2010. Although he is just 21 years old, the Omaha-based writer is looking to provide readers with interesting content on all things related to MMA.