Mark Hominick didn’t win, but he definitely put on one of the gutsiest performances at UFC 129. Jose Aldo hammered him with everything he had but Hominick was still standing heading into the championship rounds and nearly finished him in the last with a steady dose of ground and pound. Of course, what made it look even more impressive was how he did it with two swollen eyes, a giant hematoma and blood streaming down his face.

Winning is the only sure fire way to keep your job in the UFC, but in this instance, it was the kind of loss the UFC loves just as much. On The Fan 590 Radio, Hominick said the UFC was so thrilled with his performance, they’d like to fast track him back into another title fight. Transcription via Cage Potato:

“Oh, they were thrilled. They were like, ‘Heal up and we want you back as soon as you can. In another two fights you will get another crack at the title.’ I know some of the things I have to work on to take him out. I don’t think he would be lining up to fight me to tell you the honest truth.”

As for his busted up face, specifically the alien growing in his forehead, Hominick said it was no big deal. He got a CAT scan and he’s fine.

“It was superficial. It looked a lot worse than it was, you know? I’ve got pair of black eyes but the swelling is down and it looked a lot worse than it was in the fight. I’m trying to avoid [seeing] some of [the photos from the fight]. Like I said, it was superficial and those hematomas…that’s just what happens in a fight. There’s swelling there and there’s nowhere for the swelling to go because you’re not cut or anything, so it just stockpiles there. I went to the hospital, got a CAT scan, everything was there, made sure nothing was broken, and nothing was broken and the CAT scan was completely fine. I put some ice on it and within two hours the swelling was gone. Both eyes are black and blue. A little swelling in the face but nothing serious. I’m wearing sunglasses and I can hide under them.”

Judging by the photo he tweeted out today, the alien is pretty much gone, but his eyes still have a way to go.

On a related note, word has surfaced that Jose Aldo was actually battling a toe infection before the fight and was taking antibiotics up until a few days before the fight, which some people believe may have contributed to the heavy fatigue he experienced late in the fight. Aldo’s coach Andre Pederneiras confirmed the news to Sherdog after a conversation between Aldo and his teammate Marlon Sandro mentioning the medication was overheard on the broadcast immediately following the fight.

“He suffered a cut on his toe [on April 23] and it got infected with bacteria,” said Pederneiras. “He went through heavy medical treatment with antibiotics and anti-inflammatory pills from Sunday to Tuesday. He took the heavy dosage so that he wouldn’t have to take more drugs closer to the fight.”

“I can’t say whether [the fact Aldo took antibiotics] affected his performance. I’m not a doctor,” said Pederneiras. “I prefer to give credit to Hominick’s effort for taking the fight that deep, rather than saying if the medicine affected him or not.”

Aldo’s manager Ed Soares also wanted to make it clear that Mark Hominick deserves all the credit in the world for his performance despite the infection.

“We don’t want anything to be taken away from Mark Hominick. 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.”

Either way, it was a heck of a fight and the perfect way to introduce the UFC fanbase to the featherweight title. The little guys sure do know how to put on a show.

Image via Tracy Lee for Yahoo! Sports