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.