MONDAY NEWS DIGEST 6/19: Former UFC heavyweight Tim Hague dies after boxing match Friday, Hughes minimally responsive (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

By Michael Hiscoe, MMATorch contributor

Matt Hughes (photo credit Joe Camporeale © USA Today)

Former UFC heavyweight Tim Hague died Sunday afternoon from injuries sustained in a Friday night boxing match in Edmonton. He was 33.

“It is with incredible sadness, sorrow and heartbreak to report that Tim has passed away today,” Hague’s sister Jackie Neil wrote on Facebook. He was surrounded by family, listening to his favorite songs. We will miss him so greatly. We ask for privacy during this difficult time.”

Hague was knocked down several times and eventually knocked unconscious while boxing Adam Braidwood Friday night. Hague was taken to an Edmonton hospital immediately, where he remained in critical condition until dying on Sunday.

Edmonton Combative Sports Commission Executive Director Pat Reid issued a statement saying that the commission has requested post-fight reports from all referees, ringside judges, physicians, chief inspector, paymaster, and the presiding inspectors assigned to the bout. Steps will be taken based on the results of these reports.

Hague made his UFC debut in 2009 with a submission win over Pat Barry at UFC 98. He lost his next three fights and was subsequently released by the promotion. After compiling some wins on the local Edmonton promotion, Hague returned to UFC for one fight in 2011, a TKO loss to Matt Mitrione. Hague fought 16 more times on the Canadian circuit over the following five years, winning nine of those fights but suffering six KO or TKO losses during the period.

Hague transitioned to boxing in 2016, losing bouts in September and December before he fought Braidwood Friday night. The December fight was also a TKO loss.

Hague was working as a fourth-grade English teacher at Bellevue School in Beaumont, Alberta at the time of his death.

Neil posted a picture to her Facebook page of Hague Sunday, Father’s Day, of Hague in a swimming pool with his son.

“His favorite place, with his favorite little person.”

His favorite place, with his favorite little person. ❤

Posted by Jackie Neil on Sunday, 18 June 2017

Hiscoe’s Analysis: This is a sad outcome and our thoughts are with Hague’s friends and family. This is why we are concerned when fighters who have suffered multiple knockout losses continue to fight or talk about making comebacks in their 40s. The fight on Friday could have been stopped earlier, but the referee had no way to know what was to come. What I’m interested to find out is to what extent are fighters assessed before they fight by the Edmonton commission. Had Hague been subject to some type of brain scan prior to being licensed to fight, something could have been caught and Hague may have been prevented from fighting. Unfortunately, it’s difficult to implement these measures at smaller regional shows. That said, in this particular instance, Alberta has publicly funded health care so the expense of more extensive pre-fight screening could be passed on to the province.

MONDAY NOTEBOOK ITEMS…

-HSHS St. John’s Hospital released a statement on the condition of Matt Hughes on Sunday. “Former UFC fighter and Hillsboro native Matt Hughes is currently in stable condition, but he remains minimally responsive,” the statement read. “Hughes’ family asks that you keep Matt in your thoughts and prayers. Hughes was airlifted to HSHS St. John’s Hospital on Friday, June 16, 2017. The HSHS St. John’s Regional Trauma Team stabilized him and continues to help him in his recovery.”

-Bethe Correia posted a statement to her Instagram following her KO loss to Holly Holm on Saturday saying that she will be back “stronger than ever.”

-Boxer Andre Berto told TMZSports that Floyd Mayweather needs to do more than just defeat Conor McGregor when they fight in August. “Floyd has to embarrass this man to get any type of credit from me,” Berto said.


NOW CHECK OUT YESTERDAY’S UPDATE: SUNDAY NEWS DIGEST 6/18: Holly Holm back on winning track, Hughes health update, Grispi sentenced (w/Hiscoe’s Analysis)

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