Earlier this month, UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes was involved in a near-fatal accident, as his vehicle collided with a train near his hometown in Illinois. Initially, things looked quite bleak for the former champion. Apparently, however, he is slowly improving in hospital.
This according to his family, who gave an update to MMAFighting.com.
“He is improving and continues to show us his heart and determination each day,” the statement explained. “He has a long road ahead of him and your continued thoughts and prayers will help him with the journey.”
Hughes is currently at the HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Ill., where he is reportedly in stable condition. Though he has no broken bones or or internal injuries, a previous report from MMAFighting suggests that he has been “minimally responsive.”
Hughes’ accident occurred on June 16, when he drove his pickup truck over some train tracks, and a train collided with the passenger side of his vehicle. He was then airlifted from the site of the accident to HSHS St. John’s Hospital.
Hughes’ family has already hosted one prayer vigil in St. Olive, Illinois. According to their statement to MMAFighting, they are planning another for Hillsboro, Illinois, his hometown.
“Matt has always been a fighter; but he is now in the biggest fight of his life,” the statement read. “We know he will continue to improve with God’s Grace and Mercy.”
Matt Hughes is considered one of the greatest welterweights in MMA history. Over the course of his legendary career, he has defeated the likes of Akihiro Gono, Carlos Newton, Sean Sherk, Frank Trigg, Georges St-Pierre, Joe Riggs, Royce Gracie, BJ Penn, Chris Lytle, Matt Serra, Renzo Gracie, and Ricardo Almeida. Hughes retired after a knockout loss to Josh Koscheck, with an impressive overall record of 45-9.
Keep Matt Hughes in your thoughts and prayers as he continues to recover in hospital.
This article first appeared on BJPenn.com on 6/27/2017.