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Tim Hague Back in UFC, and He Wants to Stay

Tim HagueFORT HOOD, Texas – Tim Hague is back in the UFC. Again.

And this time, he plans on sticking around a while.

The Canadian heavyweight went 1-2 in his first two stints with the promotion, winning his debut against fellow UFC Fight for the Troops 2 fighter Pat Barry at UFC 98. He was the victim of Todd Duffee's record 7-second knockout at UFC 102 – which Hague says was merely a "freak of nature" occurrence. And a loss to Chris Tuchscherer at UFC 109 sent him packing.

No sooner than he was cut, though, he was brought back for a short notice fight against Joey Beltran – also on Saturday's card against Barry. He lost a decision, and guess what? Pink slip.

But after wins in Canada against Zak Jensen and Travis Wiuff, Hague is back to fight Matt Mitrione, and in what he says is his best shape.
I'm nice and lean, I'm in good shape, and I'm ready to push the pace no matter where the fight goes.
-- Tim Hague

"Losing three fights in a row, I was experiencing the lowest of lows," Hague said. "I just kind of looked at my son and figured, what am I doing this for? It's all for my little boy and my wife. I just had to get in shape, and I knew that if I was in shape I could be a hell of a fight for anybody around. My biggest problem was my cardio."

With that as his focus, Hague said he's walking at 256 pounds for the fight. His fight against Beltran, he made the cut from 280 to get to the 265-pound heavyweight limit.

"I'm nice and lean, I'm in good shape, and I'm ready to push the pace no matter where the fight goes," he said.

Mitrione, coming in at 3-0, is coming off a decision win over Beltran. Mitrione has shown he can win brawls, but has also shown glimpses of steadily improving technique. But Hague said he only made allowances in his training for Mitrione's lefty stance.

And he was complimentary of his opponent, as well.

"He is definitely very comfortable in the cage," Hague said. "He's only got three fights, but he doesn't fight at all like a rookie. He fights like a veteran. I just prepared the same way I do for everyone – I trained my (butt) off, and I'm just ready to go. He stands in a southpaw stance, so I prepared for that – sparred against some really good southpaws, and I'm just ready for whatever he brings."

Even though Hague said he signed a new four-fight deal with the UFC for his third time around, he isn't taking anything for granted. He said he realizes he's in an enviable position, being able to do what he wants for a living.

"Like Phil Baroni said in an old interview, it beats working every day," Hague joked. "Training is obviously our job. We go to the gym and work hard every day, but we don't have to push a pen or sit at a desk. I really enjoy the lifestyle. I'm supporting my family and that's all that matters to me."

That, and making sure the UFC brass stays happy with his performances this time around – not that he's putting any pressure on himself.

"It's just another fight to me," Hague said. "We're going to get in the cage and mix it up, so why be nervous, or why worry about it? I just have to go in there and fight my fight, and take it to Matt – show the UFC that I belong, that I'm an aggressive fighter and I'm no joke."

Hague fights Mitrione as the co-main event of the UFC's Fight for the Troops show at Fort Hood, Texas, on Saturday. The main card airs live on Spike TV at 9 p.m. Eastern.

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