The city of Edmonton will launch a third-party investigation into the death of former UFC fighter Tim Hague, a city spokesperson confirmed with MMA Fighting on Monday.
Hague died Sunday, two days after being knocked out in a boxing match by Adam Braidwood in his native Edmonton on Friday night. Hague, a five-fight UFC veteran, was just 34 years old.
Per the spokesperson, the city will bring in an independent reviewer “to conduct a thorough examination of the relevant policy, procedures, training, and equipment pertaining to combative sporting events.” The city of Edmonton oversees the body that regulated and sanctioned the bout, the Edmonton Combative Sports Commission (ECSC).
“The review would determine what worked well, what needs improvement and provide recommendations as deemed necessary,” according to the spokesperson, Holly Budd.
No timeline for the review was announced. Deputy city manager Rob Smyth spoke with local media Monday about it, saying Edmonton was “deeply saddened by this tragedy and wish to express our deepest condolences to Tim’s family and friends and the many students he taught.”
“We want to make sure our policies and procedures are responsive to the community and making sure these events are absolutely as safe as they can be,” Smyth said, per Global News.
Hague was 1-2 as a boxer coming into the bout, compared to Braidwood, a former top football prospect, who was 7-1 with six knockouts. Hague had been knocked out in four of his last five MMA fights, the most recent in July 2016, and was knocked out in a boxing match back in December. In the bout Friday, Hague was knocked down several times before a big punch from Braidwood knocked him out cold in the second round.
In addition to the independent investigation, the city of Edmonton and the ECSC will also be “conducting a comprehensive internal review of the incident,” Budd said.
A message sent to Pat Reid, the executive director of the ECSC, was not returned to MMA Fighting.
The UFC will be coming to Edmonton for UFC 216 on Sept. 9.
“I have had a relationship with Tim for over a decade through the sport of boxing and MMA,” said Mel Lubovac, Hague’s boxing promoter with KO Boxing Canada, in a statement released Monday. “He was more than a boxer; he was a friend. I am deeply saddened by the news of his passing. I cannot express how heavy my heart is. I would like to send my deepest condolences to his family and friends. We have lost a valuable member of our family. He will be missed and he will forever be in my heart.
I apologize for not saying something sooner, but I have had to take my own time to grieve and respect the privacy of Tim...Posted by KO Boxing Canada on Monday, June 19, 2017
Hague (21-13) fought four times for the UFC between 2009 and 2011. He was a former XFFC, Unified MMA and King of the Cage Canada heavyweight champion.
Braidwood posted an emotional video about the situation Monday on Twitter.
Rip brother you will live in my heart forever. I will fight for us both now, I know that's what you would have wanted. pic.twitter.com/H682h6rwJu— Adam Braidwood (@BraidwoodBoxing) June 19, 2017