The Edmonton City Council has enacted a one-year ban on all combat sports following the death of Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Tim Hague in a boxing match on June 16.
The news was announced in a release on Friday. The bylaw, which will temporarily halt the issuing of licenses or event permits for combat sports in Edmonton, takes effect on Saturday and will remain in place until Dec. 31, 2018.
The decision comes after a third-party review into the Hague’s death. An in-camera update on the review was given to the City Council on Friday. The final report on Hague’s death is expected to be released to the public no later than Dec. 14.
“We anticipate the release of the report into the tragic death of Mr. Hague and a continued conversation about the proper role of the municipality in the field of combative sports,” Rob Smyth, Deputy City Manager of Citizen Services at the City of Edmonton, said in the release.
Hague suffered a second-round knockout loss to former Canadian Football League talent Adam Braidwood in a bout held under the KO Boxing banner at the Shaw Conference Center on June 16. Hague was knocked down three times in the opening frame but was allowed to begin the second round by referee Len Koivisto.
Hague’s head bounced off the canvas after being floored by a right hand in the second stanza. He remained down on the canvas for several minutes before being taken backstage, where he reportedly suffered a seizure. Hague was then transported to a hospital, where he remained in critical condition until his death at 34 years old. Prior to the Braidwood bout, Hague had been knocked out twice in boxing matches and four times in mixed martial arts contests over a 22-month period.
Hague had a 1-2 boxing record prior to facing Braidwood, who entered the contest at 7-1.
“We respect the prerogative of Edmonton City Council. We will continue our work as a commission, using this time to move forward with the comprehensive policy review that had already been underway,” The Edmonton Combative Sports Commission said in a statement. “We will work with City Administration to advise Council on a future path at the end of the moratorium.”
Hague began his professional MMA career with victories in 10 of his first 11 bouts, including a first-round submission of Pat Barry in his Octagon debut at UFC 98. Losses in his next four appearances would prompt his release from the Las Vegas-based promotion. “The Thrashing Machine” was 21-13 over the course of his career and last competed as a mixed martial artist on July 15, 2016, when he suffered a 33-second technical knockout loss to Michal Andryszak at Absolute Championship Berkut 41 “Path to Triumph.”