UFC Fighter Dies from Brain Injury in Boxing Match


Tim Hague, a 34-year old UFC fighter, died on Sunday, June 18, 2017 after sustaining a severe brain injury in a boxing match with Adam Braidwood. The bout took place in Alberta and following the knock-out blows, Tim was transported to a hospital in Edmonton where he died surrounded by his family. Normally, a UFC fighter, Hague crossed over into the boxing arena for this match.

The Editorial staff at NeuroNotes extend their condolences to Tim Hague’s family and friends. His death in  boxing calls for our attention to the significant risks for brain injury in both boxing and UFC fighting. Boxers and UFC fighters are superbly trained athletes. The rules leave much of their personal protection to be left to each fighter’s skills, strength and stamina. While the UFC rules allow for earlier intervention by ring  officials, the injuries sustained in previous fights can be cumulative and the final injury being the end product. Mr. Hague may have been out of his element in the boxing ring and at greater risk. As we have seen many deaths in boxing over the years, in general, combat sports  exposes the athletes to the risk of brain injury and the consequences  they face, including permanent disability and death. Mr. Hague’s death from a severe brain injury is deeply saddening and points to the need to create greater safeguards for the fighters  in boxing and the UFC and, perhaps to outlaw the sports or at a minimum, to change the rules.

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About Rolf Gainer Ph.D.

Dr. Rolf Gainer is the founder of the Neurologic Rehabilitation Institute at Brookhaven Hospital in Tulsa, Oklahoma as well as the Neurological Rehabilitation Institute of Ontario, in Toronto, Canada. Dr. Gainer is a psychologist with more than twenty-five years of experience in the treatment and rehabilitation of individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. Dr. Gainer has designed and operated innovative rehabilitation programs in the United States and Canada for individuals who have been regarded as difficult to serve. He is currently involved in conducting two outcome studies related to the long-term issues faced by individuals with brain injuries and a dual diagnosis. He has presented papers throughout the United States and Canada in many professional conferences and educational forums.

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One Response to UFC Fighter Dies from Brain Injury in Boxing Match

  1. Suzanne D Williams June 26, 2017 at 3:28 pm #

    While I can’t deny that the fighters in the UFC are superb athletes, the risks they are allowed to take without adequate constraints on their exposure to traumatic brain injury borders on medical negligence on the part of the ruling bodies. The death of Tim Hague makes it abundantly clear that better regulations need to be put into place and enforced strictly. Outside of a professional venue, Katie bar the door. But within sport, attention needs to be given to lives after a fighting career is over, but the potential sequaelae continue and likely worsen. I can only hope that Mr. Hagues death hastens change. Deepest condolences to his and to Mr. Bainbridge (so?)family family

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