When mixed martial arts champion Conor McGregor faces off in the boxing ring against the 49-0 boxing legend FLoyd Mayweather August 26, 2016, the event is expected to be the most watched pay-per-view of all time and surely the most expensive. MMA fighter Tim Hague tried to capitalize on the attention currently being placed on cross-sport fights, but, unfortunately, his fight ended in his death.
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Hague was a UFC fighter turned boxer, who died Sunday after sustaining a traumatic brain injury Friday in his first boxing match. The fight, which took place in Canada, was allegedly put together at the last minute. Hague begged to fight against Adam Braidwood, a former Edmonton Eskimos defensive end.
“I know Tim actually begged for this fight,” training partner and friend Victor Valimaki told CTV News. “He talked to the promoters and begged for this fight. He wanted it.”
Hague made the transition from MMA to boxing last summer, according to the Associated Press. Before his professional fighting career, the 34-year-old was a kindergarten teacher.
Valimaski said the match should have been stopped long before the last punch. “It could’ve been stopped quicker, but it’s always hard to tell when you’re in the heat of the moment, and with the ref and when Tim’s saying he’s good to go.”
Former UFC title challenger Anthony Johnson made an Instagram post on the death of Hague, where he stated this was why he retired at such a young age.
“This is why I walked away. This is a reality check for me! I’ve knocked a lot of ppl out and idk how this didn’t happen when I fought. I’ve been afraid of this happening to me and after learning about CTE I’m afraid of it happening to anybody,” he wrote.
Obviously, Hague and McGregor are in very different categories when it comes to skills and experience, but the idea of this happening to another MMA fighter in the boxing ring isn’t implausable.
MMA may be more violent and have more bloodshed, but boxing is a much longer fight (round based), so endurance is important-and avoiding as many blows as possible. Unfortunately, Hague will never have the chance to further develop either of these critical skills.