UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes stable, but not yet awake after truck-train accident

UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes remains hospitalized following a Friday accident when a truck he was driving was hit by an oncoming train.Hughes’ sister, Beth Ulrici, today issued a statement on behalf of her family on her Facebook page updating her brother’s condition and asking for continued support:

“Our family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support,” Ulrici’s statement reads. “Please understand that there are many false reports out there by people who say they are close to the family. We will post another update here when we have more news.
“Matt is stable and has no broken bones or internal injuries. He has some minor lacerations and bruising and is currently being weaned from his ventilator. He is not yet awake and not responding as we would like to see but we see the fight in him.
“Matts strength and determination along with God’s Mercy and Grace will bring him through this. We ask that you all continue to pray.”

Hughes’ longtime manager when he was a fighter, Monte Cox, told MMAjunkie late Saturday that the family is hoping updates on Hughes’ condition only come from its members and not from others.
“While the family appreciates everybody’s good wishes, it wants to make sure only accurate news is reported,” Cox told MMAjunkie in a statement. “Therefore, the family is asking that beginning immediately, the media only report information coming directly from the family.”
Cox on Saturday indicated that Hughes had made rapid progress in healing from his injuries, passing word from Hughes’ twin brother, Mark Hughes, that the former champ’s “eyes are closed, but he is awake today and squeezing hands.”
However, Hughes’ sister contradicted the accuracy of that account in the official family statement, saying he is not awake and not responding.The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., near Hughes’ hometown of Hillsboro, reported the former fighter had to be stabilized by a trauma team at HSHS St. Johns Hospital in Springfield, citing a statement from the facility, after he was airlifted there following the collision.
The State Journal-Register reported Hughes crossed a set of railroad tracks near rural Raymond, Ill., directly in front of an oncoming train. The truck he was driving was hit on the passenger side, the Illinois State Police told the newspaper. According to SJ-R.com, the state police are investigating the crash.UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com that Hughes suffered head trauma.
Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC), 43, is a 2010 UFC Hall of Famer and one of the greatest 170-pound fighters in MMA history. He held the UFC’s welterweight title from 2001-2004 and 2004-2006. He registered seven total 170-pound title defenses, a record later broken by Georges St-Pierre.
Hughes last fought in 2011 and suffered back-to-back losses to B.J. Penn and Josh Kosceck in his final two appearances. During a decorated career that saw him emerge as one of MMA’s biggest stars during the sport’s biggest growth period he defeated the likes of St-Pierre, Sean Sherk, Penn, Royce Gracie, Frank Trigg and Matt Serra, among others.Hughes, who took up MMA in 1998 after wrestling at Eastern Illinois University and earning NCAA Division I All-American honors, formally announced his retirement in 2013. He then joined the organization’s front office as the UFC Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations, though that position recently was eliminated in the wake of the UFC’s sale to WME-IMG. He’s recently hinted at a possible return to competition.
MMAjunkie will have further updates on Hughes’ condition as they become available.For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.












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