Posted 07/25/2017 at 10:33 AM
There hasn't been much information out in terms of an update on UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes' condition in recent weeks. However, fellow Hall of Famer, close friend and former coach Pat Miletich appeared on Ariel Helwani's MMA Hour yesterday and he had positive news on Hughes, whose truck was hit on the passenger side by an oncoming train in an June 16 accident in rural Illinois.
"He is surprising the doctors," Miletich said. "He's making great leaps and he's no longer in a coma, and he's improving. It's going to be a long road. Any type of head trauma at that level, there's going to be some rehab."
There's been some confusion about how Hughes was hit by a train and Miletich shed some light on that situation. "The [train] engineer said, Matt had stopped on the gravel road," Miletich said. "It's a hill, goes up, it's a real quick hill that goes up to the railroad tracks. He had stopped, then tried to get across it in time. The train was almost going 50 MPH.
“When you’re out in the country, there’s no crossing guards, there’s no lights,” Miletich continued. “It’s almost like, he saw it, then tried to beat it. What I would say is that, you’re on a gravel road out in country on a hill and you’re trying to punch it and get over, you’re going to swing tires, he didn’t get across in time and got clipped on the passenger side.”
According to Dave Doyle of MMAFighting.com, Hughes has remained at HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Ill. since the accident.
Miletich hasn't been able to visit him yet. He revealed to Helwani that only family members are able to do so at this point. Miletich said, "They want his energy to go to healing and not to anything else."
Nevertheless, Miletich is extremely confident about Hughes's future. "I'm 100 percent sure he's going to make a full recovery."
We're all in that camp in hoping that Miletich is correct. The 43-year-old Hughes is one of the greatest welterweights in UFC history, finishing his career with a 45-9 overall record. Hughes is the two-time 170-pound kingpin who successfully defended his strap seven separate times during his two stints as the champion.