Fighting for the troops was a thrill for Tim Hague, but losing wasn’t.
Unfortunately for the Edmonton resident and Boyle native, that’s what happened in his fight against Matt Mitrione at the Ultimate Fighting Championship’s (UFC) Fight For The Troops 2 event at Fort Hood in Texas on Saturday night.
Hague, known as “the Thrashing Machine” in the world of mixed martial arts, lost the fight via technical knockout (TKO) at 2:59 of the first round.
Though he knew Mitrione would hit him with powerful kicks during the fight, it was ultimately the former Ultimate Fighter competitor’s punches that brought Hague down. One such punch from Mitrione put the local fighter on the mat and the ‘ground and pound’ that followed put an end to the contest as the referee stepped in and brought the fight to a close.
The day after, Hague spoke to the Advocate via telephone while in Toronto waiting for his flight back to Edmonton and revealed that even before he stepped into the Octagon, he wasn’t feeling his best.
“I didn’t really feel like myself going into the fight. It was a very odd feeling,” said Hague. “I don’t know if it was some form of performance anxiety. I didn’t feel like I had power. I just wasn’t myself, I guess.”
Performance anxiety seems unlikely for a fighter who has already amassed 12 wins in his MMA career. Saturday’s fight was his fourth for UFC, so he is no stranger to big crowds.
Nevertheless, despite having completed an intense training camp to get ready for the fight, he didn’t have his best night and Mitrione wasted no time in seizing the opportunity.
“He was very surprising. He hits way harder than I thought. I knew he would throw his hands, but I didn’t think it’d be too big of a deal,” said Hague as he considered the punches that brought an early end to the fight.
“You see him on TV and he’s always goofing around and so loose. Maybe I underestimated him.”
Though the outcome wasn’t what he wanted, he was still thrilled to have performed in front of the troops. With a logo on his trunks, Hague showed support and raised awareness for WoundedWarriors.ca.
“It was a big honor for me to wear the patch,” he said. “The troops are working hard for us every day.”
Hague plans to take some time off from training as he awaits word on his next fight, and whether it will be in the UFC.
“I’m going to hang out with my son a lot, and enjoy a couple of beers.”