The City of Edmonton has ordered a third-party review to be conducted into the boxing match the resulted in the death of Ultimate Fighting Championship veteran Tim Hague, according to a report from Global News.
“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,” deputy city manager Rob Smyth said.
The City of Edmonton oversees the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission. According to Smyth, the review will include any promoters, referees, physicians and inspectors involved with the fight.
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. Braidwood is now 8-1 as a professional boxer, while Hague was 1-3. According to the report, Hague’s death occurred less than a month after David Whittom went into a coma with bleeding on the brain after suffering a knockout loss in Fredericton, New Brunswick, Canada.
“We want to understand what happened and determine if we need to do anything better,” said Smyth, who added that their would be no set timeframe for the review to be completed.
“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.”
KO Boxing promoter Mel Lubovac released a statement mourning the loss of Hague, an elementary school teacher and a trainer at a UFC Gym in Sherwood Park.
“I have had a relationship with Tim for over a decade though the sport of boxing and MMA. He was more than a boxer, he was a friend. I am deeply saddened by the news of his passing,” Lubovac said. “I cannot truly express how heavy my heart is. I would like to send my deepest condolences to his family and friends. We have lost a valuable member of our family; he will be missed and he will be forever in my heart.”
Braidwood, Hague’s opponent, released a video message via Twitter to addressing the situation.
“Everybody saw me celebrating, but nobody saw me pick up Tim and carry him to the corner and tell him that I love him,” he said. “I just want everyone to try to to help Tim’s family any way that you can….Nobody wanted this.”
Rip brother you will live in my heart forever. I will fight for us both now, I know that's what you would have wanted. pic.twitter.com/H682h6rwJu— Adam Braidwood (@BraidwoodBoxing) June 19, 2017
A GoFundMe campaign for Hague’s funeral had raised nearly $30,000 goal within 24 hours. A native of Boyle, Alberta, Canada, 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.”