Former UFC heavyweight fighter Tim Hague is reported to have been pronounced brain dead in hospital after suffering a devastating knockout in a boxing match this past Friday night.
The tragedy unfolded in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, where the 34-year-old Hague was fighting Adam Braidwood, a former Candian Football League star who was 7-1 as a boxer heading into the fight.
From early in the first round it was clear that Braidwood had the upper hand and Hague was rocked and sent to the canvas several times before he was finally knocked out cold in the second round.
Hague would eventually be able to slowly make his way out of the ring under his own steam, but backstage it quickly became clear that something wasn’t right and he was rushed to hospital, where he’d immediately undergo sugery for bleeding on the brain.
Afterwards, Hague was left in a coma, and tragically that led to MMA journalist Mike Russell later reporting that, according to multiple sources at the hospital, he had been declared brain dead.
On reflection, though there’s little doubt that Hague was outmatched on the night and the fight should have been stopped earlier, to understand how this tragic outcome was reached you have to take into consideration the punishment that ‘The Thrashing Machine’ had taken over the course of his career, and in particular over these past few years.
The 6ft 4″, 265lb Hague joined the UFC in 2009 after compiling a solid 9-1 record and would instantly rack up a submission win over Pat Barry, but his time in the Octagon is most remembered for his next fight, when he suffered a brutal seven second KO loss to Todd Duffee.
In total Hague would suffer three losses in a row before being released by the UFC in 2010. He did briefly return in 2011, only to be quickly TKO’d by Matt Mitrione.
Undeterred, Hague would continue fighting for the likes of WSOF, MFC and KOTC among various other regional promotions in the years to come, and by March of 2015 his record now stood at a respectable 20-9.
It’s from this point on that things really started to go downhill for Hague as he’d go on to suffer three knockout losses in the space of eight months.
Too tough for his own good, Hague almost took on a bareknuckle boxing bout in the UK a few months later in 2016, but instead agreed to an MMA fight in Russia and was TKO’d by a head kick in just 33 seconds.
A month later Hague was throwing caution to the wind by heading into the boxing ring, losing by unanimous decision, and then was TKO’d in another bout in the squared circle at the end of the year.
Alarmingly, earlier this year Hague was also competing in what’s known as ‘superboxing’ bouts – essentially boxing with MMA gloves, and was known to have been KO’d in just 40 seconds as recently as April 7th.
With that in mind it’s clear there’s no way that Hague, a kindergarten teacher and family man, should have been stepping back into the ring this past weekend, but nevertheless it’s still a heartbreaking situation and our thoughts are with his loved ones at this difficult time.