Mark "The Machine" Hominick
Profession: mixed martial arts fighter; a trainer/teacher at Adrenaline Training Center in London, Ont.
Hometown: Thamesford, Ont.
Notable achievements: Captured the TKO Featherweight Championship nine times; is the current IKF North American Kickboxing Champion
Upcoming: UFC Featherweight title fight against champ Jose Aldo in Toronto on April 30.
The countdown is on. Canadian mixed martial artist Mark "The Machine" Hominick is gearing up for the fight of his life.
He steps into the octagon April 30, vying for the UFC Featherweight title in one of the bouts at the first mixed martial arts event to be held in Toronto.
At 5-foot-8 and 145 pounds, Hominick may be small, but he's tough as nails. And his ride is equally as tough - he drives a 2007 Jeep Wrangler.
Why did you buy a Jeep Wrangler?
It's a Jeep Jeep. It fits my character and my personality. It's my pride and joy.
Some of the guys that I train with - they were all getting Jeeps - so we thought let's do it all together. We all got the Jeeps together and I won't change back now.
I bought it used; it had 40,000 kilometres on it.
What's the best feature on the Wrangler?
I think it's the overall look. It has a military look to it with the big tires. You definitely notice it when you drive by.
Is there anything you'd change on it?
I think eventually I'd put another lift on it. With my training I have to drive quite a bit so it's not always the best for the highway to have a Jeep jacked up another five inches.
I got to figure out how to put a baby seat in it because I have a baby on the way. My wife already told me I can't have the top down. She wants me to get rid of it, but that'll be a battle.
The baby is coming five days after the title fight. Life is changing after April 30 with the baby on the way. Hopefully. I'll get two new trophies - my baby and a world title belt.
Is it as tough as an MMA fighter?
It's tougher. It's all black - black rims, black windows, black everything. I love it.
It came factory and I added tires and rims. It has 33-inch tires on it.
What does a Wrangler say about you?
I'm a small-town kid, a country kid. It sort of speaks to that. It's nothing flashy - just meat and potatoes.
Do you know what's under the hood?
No, not at all. I'm probably the furthest thing from a mechanic. I know how to put gas in it.
Is it an automatic or standard transmission?
You're only allowed to buy a Jeep with a standard. It has to be, in my mind. For a Jeep Wrangler, if you're driving an automatic, you're cheating.
Who taught you to drive a stick?
My dad. I learned how to drive a stick on his little sports car so he was nervous.
He had a little Miata at the time. He let me take it for the summer because I was working for his company basically. And a kid was driving a fork lift and he dropped a whole skid of cinder blocks on the front of the car. It was $10,000 worth of damage.
It wasn't my fault but I felt pretty bad having to make that call.
Do you go off-roading with the Jeep?
I still feel like it's a new vehicle so I don't want dents or what-not on it. But I do go off-road with fishing trips.
One time I was going through a backfield and I didn't see a barbed wire fence so I trampled that over and I had to get a new bumper for it. The tires were okay - they just ran over the fence. That was the only mishap.
Are you a car guy?
No, not at all. That's why it's funny because I see nice cars, but I never thought I'd be into a Jeep or anything like that. But when I got it, I won't go back to anything else.
Do you like to drive fast?
It's not really meant for speed. That's probably a good thing because when I was younger I got a lot of speeding tickets so it's made me mature that way.
What was your first car?
A Chevy Cavalier. I paid $10,000. I bought it new.
It definitely got me to all my training. It was definitely a reliable car. But it was not a lot of fun to drive. Then I got the Jeep Wrangler. That's a big change.
What's your best and worst driving memory?
Best would be going back fishing with the Jeep. Worst would be all the speeding tickets I got when I was a kid. My worst was 140 in an 80. I was definitely young and immature.
I was 17. I thought driving was a right, not a privilege. I was driving my dad's car and the cop showed me no mercy. I don't fight my tickets - I feel if I did the crime I should do the time. So far no speeding tickets with the Wrangler.
Do you like road trips?
For sure. I do a lot of driving for fights. The only way I get out of taking the Jeep is if I take the back-seat out of it. So I have an excuse that I can only fit two people.
There are countless ones especially when I was competing in the amateur circuit. We had to drive everywhere so we had countless road trips - vans that held eight and we put in 12 going to an event. They're definitely memories I'll keep forever.
What are you listening to when driving?
I'm into '90s rock like Stone Temple Pilots, Pearl Jam and bands like that. When I'm going to a fight I listen to anything with high energy. I'm not too picky as long as it's got high energy, that's the music I like to train to.
If I could bring you the keys to any vehicle what would it be?
Honestly, I think it would still be a Jeep. I'm sold. I'll be a Jeep guy forever now - a Wrangler, at least.
The interview has been edited and condensed.