Jose Aldo retained his featherweight title tonight at UFC 129, but Mark Hominick gave him his toughest fight to date in a five round war.
In the first round Aldo looked every bit the champion as he took command of the stand-up battle. His leg kicks looked as vicious as ever and were being thrown with clever combinations of punches, often targeting the body first. His defense also looked sound and he utilized good head movement to steer clear of Hominick’s own offense.
Interestingly, towards the end of the round Aldo began to look for the takedown and managed to do so relatively easily twice. The first was most effective as he managed to Press Hominick up against the fence and was then able to throw several short, choppy elbows to his face before finally being stood back up.
Hominick came out stronger in round two and pressed forward, landing some effective strikes to the head and body. Aldo was looking a little slower by this stage, but was still avoiding a lot of Hominick’s strikes due to his head movement.
As the round progressed Aldo switched back to using his strikes to set up takedowns and did so successfully several times.
Going into the third round both fighters were showing war wounds on their face, particularly Hominick, but that didn’t stop them from going toe-to-toe for much of the third round with the action being fairly even as they traded blows.
The action then swung in Aldo’s favor late in the round as he caught Hominick with a left followed by a right to the temple that rocked him, leaving him reaching desperately for a takedown without success. Aldo looked to finish the Canadian on the floor but was unable to put him away, and the fight went on to the championship rounds.
The fourth was was to be a big round for Aldo as he dropped Hominick with a hard right at the mid-way point. He then began raining down blows from top control, and a hard elbow suddenly produced a horrific looking hematoma above Hominick’s right eye. It continued to grow as Aldo fought on and there became a major risk of the fight being brought to an end prematurely, but after a brief stoppage the doctor surprisingly let the game challenger continue.
Onto the fifth, and Hominick had to undergo another medical check before being allowed to continue. Despite the ever-growing protrusion on his head Hominick then showed incredible guts and determination to actually take the fight to Aldo and managed to take him down.
Aldo looked exhausted and Hominick capitalized, throwing some major bombs from inside the Brazilian’s guard, but despite connecting cleanly on numerous occasions he couldn’t find a finish, and the fight went to the judges scorecards.
All three judges had a different view on the overall score, but they did agree on the winner, with Aldo being awarded a unanimous decision victory (50-43, 48-46, 49-46).
Overall this was compulsive viewing and was a perfect example of how exciting the lighter weight classes can be.
It also showed that though Aldo is hugely talented, he s not superhuman, while Hominick will receive many plaudits despite his loss for his gutsy display.