Wausau fighter, trainer weigh-in on former UFC fighter death - WAOW - Newsline 9, Wausau News, Weather, Sports

Wausau fighter, trainer weigh-in on former UFC fighter death

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WAUSAU (WAOW) -

The fighting community is mourning after a former heavyweight fighter for the Ultimate Fighting Championship died on Sunday following a brutal knockout in the boxing ring. 

Canadian Tim Hague, 33, died from a brain injury he sustained in a professional boxing match. Hague fought just four fights in the UFC. 

On Monday, Terrance Marquardt of Wausau was doing some final preparations for a big fighting tournament this weekend in Des Moines and weighed-in on the tragedy. 

He said that after months of training, he's not worried that he will get hurt when he steps into the ring, as his passion for the sport far outweighs the risks involved.  

"My ultimate goal is to show the world that I'm an amazing fighter. It's fighting. You're going to get hurt," he said. "Fighting is my life. I've dedicated everything I have to this." 

Marquardt said he's leaving his safety in the hands of his trainer Lah Thao, owner of Rising Son MMA, who is trained in identifying signs of trauma in fighters, 

"First thing we look for is mental response, you know, when I'm talking to him is he responding? How's he talking to me? Is he slurring? I'm going to look for dilation of the eyes," said Thao, a former professional fighter. "As a coach and a trainer, I make sure that my fighters are well-rounded, ready in [all] components and if they're not, I don't take the fight." 

Dr. Samuel Waller, a brain surgeon with Aspirus Wausau, said that all it takes is one punch for even the most seasoned of fighters to lose their life. 

"The idea that you can stand on your feet for ten seconds and answer one or two questions is somehow felt to be enough," said Waller. 

Waller said that unlike football, it's impossible to try and make the sport any safer. 

"It becomes a gray line, particularly in a sport like boxing where the goal is to knock the other person out," he said. 

Both Dr. Waller and Thao believe that high quality safety equipment and trained professional staff is the best way to ensure safety while fighting.

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