Alberta’s mixed martial arts community has been shaken by the death of Tim Hague, who suffered a fatal brain injury during a boxing match in Edmonton.
The former UFC heavyweight was left in critical condition after being knocked out Friday by former Edmonton Eskimos defensive end Adam Braidwood at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton. He died Sunday.
Jordan Bittner was in Hague’s corner that night. The two trained together and Bittner said Hague, 34, was like a brother to him.
Hague, who fought out of Edmonton, also fought in the UFC. His nickname was “The Thrashing Machine.”
“I just hope that people remember him for the person he was, not just a fighter,” Bittner said.
When Hague hit the mat, Bittner said he didn’t realize how serious his friend’s injuries were.
Video of the fight shows Hague being knocked down several times before the bout was stopped for good in the second round.
Hague was taken to hospital in critical condition.
“I figured it would be an overnight stay and we’d be having lunch the next day,” Bittner said.
“It’s a big part of my heart that’s gone,” he added. “We lost such an amazing person. I’m just heartbroken. A piece of me is gone.”
The Edmonton Combative Sports Commission, which regulates professional combative sporting events in the city, will be conducting a full investigation.
The city says it will conduct a third-party review, Rob Smyth, deputy city manager of citizen services, said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
“With this major incident, we want to go to a third party to do the review,” he said.
The city hopes to learn whether existing policies go far enough to ensure fights are as safe as possible, or if there are ways to make them…