Two days after Tim Hague was hospitalized for a brain hemorrhage following a knockout defeat in a boxing match, the former UFC heavyweight has died. Hague’s sister, Jackie Neil, confirmed Hague’s death in a statement published on her Facebook page.
“It is with incredible sadness, sorrow and heartbreak to report that Tim has passed away today. He was surrounded by family, listening to his favorite songs. We will miss him with so greatly. We ask for privacy during this difficult time.”
Hague fought Adam Braidwood (8-1, 7 KOs) on Friday in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Entering the contest, Hague had just a 1-2 pro boxing record and had been stopped in the first round in his most recent bout. Braidwood knocked Hague down three times in the opening round, but neither the referee nor Hague’s corner stopped what looked like a very clear mismatch. In the next round, Hague was dropped for a fourth time, and sadly the KO proved to be fatal.
The Edmonton Combative Sports Commission (ECSC) released this statement prior to Hague’s passing. (via Edmonton Journal)
“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,” the statement reads.
A native of Boyle, Alberta, Hague fought five times under the UFC banner, with his lone victory coming against the then-undefeated Pat Barry at UFC 98. Hague amassed an overall MMA record of 21-13, but suffered a KO or TKO in eight of his defeats, including four in a span of 11 months from 2015-2016. As recently as April, Hague was knocked out in 40 seconds by Jared Kilkenny in a “super boxing” match, which is evidently just boxing with MMA gloves. That fight was not counted under Hague’s boxing record.
After the Kilkenny loss, Hague, who was an English teacher at Ecole Bellevue School, emotionally announced his retirement, indicating that he didn’t want his students to see him this way. According to this CBC article, Hague accepted the match with Braidwood was without an opponent just a few weeks out from fight night. School principal Jennifer El-Khatib told CBC News that “support will be available for Hague's students when they return to class Monday,” and also added this statement:
"Our hearts are heavy,” El-Khatib said. “Mr. Hague was a beloved teacher and staff member. His students loved him and looked up to him, and he was an important part of our school community."
This tragedy comes almost exactly one year after fellow ex-UFC fighter Ryan Jimmo was killed in a hit-and-run incident in Edmonton. Like Jimmo, Hague was just 34 years old at the time of his death.