A former UFC fighter from Alberta has died following a boxing match in Edmonton Friday.
Tim Hague, 34, suffered a brain injury after he was knocked out by opponent and former Edmonton Eskimos player, Adam Braidwood, during a KO Boxing event at the Shaw Conference Centre.
“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’s family said in a statement to CTV News.
The fight lasted two rounds before a left hook knocked Hague to the ground. A post-fight video showed Hague leaving the ring under his own power, but he was soon rushed to the hospital, according to KO boxing.
“He was so strong, a fighter right to the very end. It”s all still surreal right now,” the family said.
According to a Facebook post by Alberta Professional Boxing, he underwent brain surgery to relieve pressure from a brain bleed.
“Nobody wants to see something like this happen. It’s a freak accident. It doesn’t happen often,” said local boxer Jelena Mrdjenovich, who was in the crowd during the fight.
Hague is originally from Boyle, Alta. and fights out of Edmonton. He used to be a kindergarten teacher before transitioning into mixed martial arts and UFC fighting. In 2016 he made the move to boxing.
In a video post promoting the June 16 fight, Hague said he stepped up to fight Braidwood with only “a few weeks notice” as Braidwood didn’t have an opponent.
“I’ll fight anyone,” he said in the video.
Braidwood is currently ranked first in heavyweight boxing in western Canada and is ranked ninth overall with KO boxing.
Many were asking why the fight wasn’t stopped long before the knockout. Alberta Professional Boxing said that the three knockdown rule wasn’t enforced that night.
The commission that oversees boxing in Alberta has declined to comment.
With files from CTV Edmonton’s Nahreman Issa