The 24-year-old Champion was recovering from an undisclosed infection, and was even on antibiotics up until the Monday prior to last week's event.
No one would have known, and his camp was content to go in and come out with no excuses, except for the fact that his corner was overheard on the broadcast discussing antibiotics, bringing the illness to light. Still, as his manager Ed Soares said in comments made to MMAJunkie.com, they in no way wanted to take away from the heart and toughness shown by Hominick in the fight.
"We don't want anything to be taken away from Mark Hominick," Soares said. "Hominick fought a hell of a fight and showed the type of heart that he has. I was a Mark Hominick fan before the fight, but now it makes me even more of a fan to see the type of heart that he has."
"That could have happened whether [Aldo] was 100 percent or not."
Hominick fought through a nasty hematoma that developed in the fourth round, and though he was behind in the fight he kept the champion on his back for the entirety of the fifth round, ending the fight in top position. The performance will likely earn him another shot after a couple of wins, but Aldo will have to get through some tough opposition of his own over the next year to make that happen as well.
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Penick's Analysis: It was clear that some combination of his injury and the layoff was having an effect on Aldo throughout the fight, but throw in a battle with an infection that close to the fight as well and it's no wonder he was slowing down in a five round fight. And still, that doesn't at all take away from Hominick's gutsy performance, and I think it's actually more impressive that Aldo did what he was able to in that fight while battling all of that. It's nice to see that Aldo's camp wasn't planning on saying anything, but when it's out there you might as well address it. It's also good to have some type of back story to explain what we saw in that fight, and though some will take it as making excuses I simply see it as giving an explanation, and hopefully he'll be closer to 100% when he fights this August.