Category Archives: Tim Hague

Anatomy of a combat sports tragedy: Who killed Tim Hague?

The first time Tim Hague went down against Adam Braidwood was a little over a minute into the first round. Backed into the corner, he took a pair of right hands and ended up kneeling on the canvas, rising to his feet as the referee’s count hit seven.

Roughly a minute after that Hague went down again. Then shortly after he took a few more hard shots and went lunging toward Braidwood’s legs – not a knockdown, according to referee Leon Koivisto, but still it prompted a brief pause in the action. As soon as it started again, Braidwood put Hague down for a third time with the first punch he threw – a jab.

That probably should have been the end of the fight. If it had been, Hague would probably be alive today.

Hague had looked out of his depth from the beginning. A veteran of more than 30 professional MMA bouts, he came into this fight just 1-2 as a boxer. With his labored, lunging punches, he never seemed to threaten the 7-1 Braidwood, who battered Hague with heavy right hands throughout the first round, before knocking him out cold with an uppercut early in the second.

Hague was clearly in bad shape as he lay on the canvas. He never recovered. As Braidwood told an interviewer for Canada-based CTV News days later, “I knew, man. I knew in the ring.”

Two days later, Hague was taken off life support, dead at 34.

This isn’t supposed to happen, even in combat sports, but we know that it can. When human beings trade head trauma for sport, the risk of a worst-case scenario becoming reality is never that far away.

According to Braidwood, Hague’s death was “nobody’s fault.” That’s true in the sense that death is a possibility that can’t be completely removed from sports like boxing and MMA.

But in this case we also see several small mistakes that piled up on top of each other. It’s hard to blame Hague’s death entirely on any one of them – certainly we’ve seen fighters live through worse, and even thrive afterward – but together they created the atmosphere that made a possible tragedy much more likely.

For starters, there’s the question of how they got in the ring together in the first place. Braidwood was 7-1 with six knockouts when he met Hague, who was 1-2 as a boxer, but 21-13 as an MMA fighter.

The damage had started to pile up late in Hague’s MMA career. He lost three of his last four MMA bouts, all by knockout. Between boxing and MMA, he was knocked out three times in 2016. And his one win as a professional boxer? It was in 2011, the same year he had his final fight with the UFC.

A fight with Braidwood wasn’t exactly unsanctionable, even if the matchup seems different now that we know the outcome. He was riding a six-fight winning streak compared with Hague’s two-fight losing skid as a boxer, but then there was also Hague’s MMA experience to consider.

Just as the Nevada State Athletic Commission can justify allowing Conor McGregor to box Floyd Mayweather based on his experience in a similar combat sport, the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission could do the same here. But a fight like that should still warrant in close look in action, just in case a marked skill discrepancy shows up right away.

Which, of course, it did. Braidwood was clearly the better boxer, a fact thoroughly established by the time he drops Hague with a jab for the third knockdown of the first round. That’s where Koivisto, the referee, could have intervened. When Hague went back to his corner after the bell, his corner had a similar chance to step in.

Nobody did. They let him go back out for the second round despite seeing little in the first to suggest that the fight would be the least bit competitive. Hague’s balance, along with his ability to defend himself, were visibly compromised. He seemed doomed to defeat. So why let him get off the stool and walk back out there?

There’s more than one answer to that question, and I suspect most of them are familiar to longtime followers of the fight game. They let him go back out there because it was his choice, because he wanted to. Because he trained so hard and this was his chance. Because it wasn’t over yet, and more shocking turnarounds have happened before. Because anything can happen in a fight, right?

They also let it continue because a certain amount of trauma and damage is to be expected. This is fighting, after all. We take some degree of imminent physical danger for granted. A willingness to take a beating every now and then is the price of entry. It’s quitting that’s a mortal sin.

Those underlying assumptions don’t mix well even a few small mistakes. A ref who regards three knockdowns in the opening round as no great cause for concern. A commission willing to greenlight a risky pairing. A corner that won’t tell their fighter when he’s had enough.

They’re all pieces of the puzzle here. It’s just that we seem to have a hard time seeing how they fit together until it’s too late.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Emotional Adam Braidwood breaks silence on Tim Hague's death: 'I knew in the ring'

Adam Braidwood, the man who delivered the fatal punches to Tim Hague, broke his silence today on the tragic death of the former UFC fighter.

Hague, 34, died Sunday after being taken off life support. He was knocked to the ground multiple times by Braidwood, a former Edmonton Eskimos football player, and was knocked out completely in the second round during their fight at Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Although Hague eventually got up under his own power, he was soon rushed to a nearby hospital, where doctors performed surgery to treat a brain injury.

Braidwood broke his silence today, first in a video posted on Twitter.

Braidwood also spoke in an emotional interview with Canada-based CTV News, holding back tears on multiple occasions.

“It’s not a good thing for anyone involved,” Braidwood said. “I want to keep the focus on Tim and his family, especially his son. They’re the real victims here. … Just keep it about them the best that you can, because I’m still alive.”

Braidwood, who called Hague a friend, said he had a bad feeling once the fight was stopped.

“I knew, man. I knew in the ring,” Braidwood said before pausing to gather himself. “I just saw the way he fell.”

He continued, “I waited on my knees for Tim to move after I did my stupid, little celebration. Like, I don’t care about that. People can say what they want. I waited on my knees. I watched him. I picked him up, because his team was struggling to pick him up. I carried him to the corner, and I could see in his face.”

Braidwood responded to journalists and critics on social media who believe the fight should’ve been stopped or not happened at all given Hague’s 1-3 professional boxing record against Braidwood’s 7-1 mark.

“What do they know? They don’t fight. He wanted to keep fighting,” Braidwood said. “Journalists, this, that, people who write stuff. They don’t know what they’re talking about. What kind of country-club lifestyle do they live, where they get to call the shots on what we do in there? …

“Tim wanted to keep fighting, and that’s what we do. If people have delusions about this sport, about what life is really like for someone like me, who has nothing else, they can walk in my shoes. I would’ve done the same thing. And he would’ve done the same thing to me, trust me.”

Braidwood said nobody is to blame for what happened.

“It’s nobody’s fault. It’s not the ref’s fault,” he said. “The ref asked. And if you’re conscious, and you’re collective, and you have your stuff together … I saw the video. Tim was still there. And he said he wanted to keep fighting, so that’s what happened. That’s just the truth. There’s no speculation about it. He wanted to keep fighting, so we kept fighting.”

The city of Edmonton on Monday ordered a third-party review into the circumstances surrounding the fight. Hague had suffered knockout losses on four occasions in the previous 22 months before accepting the fight against Braidwood.

An online fundraiser for Hague’s funeral expenses today met its goal of $20,000. Hague, a teacher who earned a 1-4 UFC record, leaves behind 9-year-old son Brady.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Edmonton officials order 3rd-party review of boxing match resulting in Tim Hague's death

Edmonton officials want a better understanding of the circumstances surrounding a boxing match that left ex-UFC fighter Tim Hague dead.

The city of Edmonton, which oversees the city’s athletic commission, today announced a third-party investigation into the fight.

“We want to understand what happened and determine if there’s anything we need to do better,” Edmonton’s deputy city manager Rob Smyth said at a press conference, via Global News. “We want to make sure our policies and procedures are responsive to the community and making sure these events are absolutely as safe as they can be.”

Asked why a third-party organization was requested, Smyth added, “We want to retain — we don’t know who or how yet — a third party to do a comprehensive review and our thinking is … that review will have to get information from all of the different individuals who were part of organizing the event.”

Smyth said the same officials will be the target of the new inquiry and offered no timeline for its conclusion. He said there are no plans to cancel any upcoming events in the wake of the tragedy.

The fight this past Friday was regulated by the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission, which announced it would conduct a post-fight official review per its protocol and had “extended the request for reports” from officials who worked the event at Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Hague died Sunday after being taken off life support. He was knocked to the ground multiple times by former Edmonton Eskimos football player Adam Braidwood and was knocked out completely in the second round. He got up under his own power but was soon rushed to a nearby hospital, where doctors performed surgery to treat a brain injury.

A 1-3 professional boxer, Hague had suffered knockout losses on four occasions in the previous 22 months and was paired against the 7-1 Braidwood.

An online fundraiser for Hague’s funeral expenses today met its goal of $20,000. Hague, a teacher who earned a 1-4 UFC record, left behind 9-year-old son Brady.

The event’s promoter, Hague’s cornerman and his students at Ecole Bellevue School near Edmonton also expressed sadness and their condolences.

As the outpouring of grief and support for Hague continues, city officials will look into what can be done to better safeguard fighters.

“We are deeply saddened by this tragedy and wish to express our deepest condolences to Tim’s family and friends and the many students he taught,” Smyth said.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

GoFundMe campaign for Tim Hague funeral expenses reaches goal within 24 hours

A GoFundMe campaign for Tim Hague has reached its goal within 24 hours of its creation after the former UFC heavyweight’s tragic death.

According to the fundraiser page, the donations will help pay for funeral expenses. As of this writing, the total was at $20,073.

The online fundraiser was started after Hague died at 34 following a boxing match in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Hague had been in critical condition and was on life support after suffering a brutal knockout loss to former Edmonton Eskimos football player Adam Braidwood at Shaw Conference Centre.

Hague, an elementary school teacher, was seen in a video of the bout getting repeatedly knocked to the canvas. He was given several standing eight counts before being knocked completely out in the second round. He lay unconscious on the mat for several minutes before being revived. He was transported to a local hospital, where he underwent surgery for a traumatic brain injury.

On Sunday, Hague’s sister Jackie Neil released a statement announcing his death.

“It is with incredible sadness, sorrow and heartbreak to report that Tim has passed away today,” she wrote. “He was surrounded by family, listening to his favorite songs. We will miss him so greatly.”

Hague leaves behind a 9-year-old son.

Hague’s death is certain to raise questions about the circumstances surrounding his boxing match. The former UFC fighter was approved by the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission with a 1-3 boxing record against 7-1 Braidwood. Hague had suffered a TKO loss this past December in a previous boxing match and suffered knockout losses in four of his past five MMA bouts, with the most recent coming this past July in Russia.

ECSC Executive Director Pat Reid told CTVnews.ca before Hague’s death, “As part of Edmonton Combative Sports Commission combative sports protocol, a post-fight official review is conducted immediately after each competition. Following the news that boxer Tim Hague is in critical condition following a professional boxing match on Friday, June 16, 2017, we have extended the request for reports to all referees, ringside judges, physicians, chief inspector, paymaster, and the presiding inspectors assigned to the bout. We will determine the next steps following the evaluation of these reports.”

Hague earned a 1-4 UFC record and was released from the promotion in 2011 following a first-round TKO loss to Matt Mitrione. Hague had 19 of his 21 MMA wins by stoppage, including 15 knockouts, and had not gone to a decision in one of his victories since 2008.

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For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Heavyweight Tim Hague, a 5-fight UFC vet, dies following boxing knockout loss in Canada

Former UFC heavyweight Tim Hague died today after suffering a knockout loss in a boxing match on Friday night in Canada.

Hague’s sister confirmed the fighter’s death in a post on her Facebook page:

“It is with incredible sadness, sorrow and heartbreak to report that Tim has passed away today,” Jackie Neil wrote. “He was surrounded by family, listening to his favourite songs. We will miss him with so greatly.”

Hague was 34.

Hague, a five-fight UFC veteran, had been in critical condition in a Canadian hospital after his knockout loss to former Edmonton Eskimos football player Adam Braidwood at Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Although Hague had 34 pro MMA fights, his bout with Braidwood was a boxing match for the KO Boxing promotion.

Tim Hague

Braidwood knocked Hague down several times in the fight, video footage of the fight shows. In the second round, he knocked Hague down for good after a right hand and a short left. Hague remained out on the canvas for several minutes before eventually leaving the ring while Braidwood was being interviewed.

But he was transported to the hospital when it became evident something wasn’t right following the knockout, according to reports from teammates.

Hague, a school teacher in Canada, started his MMA career in 2006 and won 10 of his first 11 fights, including his UFC debut – a first-round submission of Pat Barry at UFC 98 in Las Vegas. But that would prove to be his only win in the promotion.

In his next three fights, he suffered a seven-second knockout loss to Todd Duffee at UFC 102, a majority-decision loss to Chris Tuchscherer at UFC 109 and a unanimous decision loss to Joey Beltran at UFC 113. After the loss to Tuchscherer, he was released from the UFC, but made a quick return on short notice to fight Beltran. But after that loss, with a 10-4 record overall and 1-3 in the promotion, he was let go again.

He rebounded in 2010 with knockout wins in Edmonton over Zak Jensen and Travis Wiuff, and those were enough to get him invited back to the UFC. But at the UFC’s second “Fight for the Troops” show in January 2011, he was stopped by Matt Mitrione with a first-round TKO.

After that, with a 1-4 UFC record, Hague remained active in MMA, including fights for King of the Cage in Canada, as well as WSOF. But in the past two years, he was just 1-4, and all four losses have come by knockout. His lone win was for Canada’s XFFC promotion in April 2016, for which he beat UFC veteran Kalib Starnes to win the promotion’s heavyweight title.

Throughout his career, though, when Hague has won fights, he’s been a finisher. He has 19 of his 21 wins by stoppage, including 15 knockouts, and has not gone to a decision in one of his victories since 2008.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie

Reports: UFC veteran Tim Hague in critical condition after KO loss in boxing match

Former UFC heavyweight Tim Hague is in critical condition in a Canadian hospital after suffering a knockout loss in a boxing match on Friday night in Edmonton.

Although some reports on social media on Saturday said the 34-year-old Canadian died from his injuries after being declared brain dead, his sister told The Canadian Press that her brother was alive, but in critical condition.

Hague has a 21-13 record in MMA, including five fights in the UFC. But on Friday, he was in a boxing match for the KO Boxing promotion against former Edmonton Eskimos football player Adam Braidwood at Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton.

Tim Hague

Braidwood knocked Hague down several times in the fight, video footage of the fight shows. In the second round, he knocked Hague down for good after a right hand and a short left. Hague remained out on the canvas for several minutes before eventually leaving the ring while Braidwood was being interviewed.

According to online reports, Hague was transported to the hospital when it became evident something wasn’t right following the knockout.

Hague, a school teacher in Canada, started his MMA career in 2006 and won 10 of his first 11 fights, including his UFC debut – a first-round submission of Pat Barry at UFC 98 in Las Vegas. But that would prove to be his only win in the promotion.

In his next three fights, he suffered a seven-second knockout loss to Todd Duffee at UFC 102, a majority-decision loss to Chris Tuchscherer at UFC 109 and a unanimous decision loss to Joey Beltran at UFC 113. After the loss to Tuchscherer, he was released from the UFC, but made a quick return on short notice to fight Beltran. But after that loss, with a 10-4 record overall and 1-3 in the promotion, he was let go again.

He rebounded in 2010 with knockout wins in Edmonton over Zak Jensen and Travis Wiuff, and those were enough to get him invited back to the UFC. But at the UFC’s second “Fight for the Troops” show in January 2011, he was stopped by Matt Mitrione with a first-round TKO.

After that, with a 1-4 UFC record, Hague remained active in MMA, including fights for King of the Cage in Canada, as well as WSOF. But in the past two years, he was just 1-4, and all four losses have come by knockout. His lone win was for Canada’s XFFC promotion in April 2016, for which he beat UFC veteran Kalib Starnes to win the promotion’s heavyweight title.

Throughout his career, though, when Hague has won fights, he’s been a finisher. He has 19 of his 21 wins by stoppage, including 15 knockouts, and has not gone to a decision in one of his victories since 2008.

Filed under: News
Source: MMA Junkie