UFC icon Matt Hughes has pulled out of his coma after his pickup truck collided with a moving train last month, according to an interview that close friend and fellow UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich gave The MMA Hour today.
Hughes was driving near his home in Illinois on the morning of June 16 when he tried to cross a set of railroad tracks directly in front of a moving train, which hit the passenger side of his truck. He was airlifted to a hospital with head trauma, and updates on his condition have been scarce.
Miletich gave some encouraging information about Hughes’ well-being. “He is surprising the doctors,” he said in the interview, as transcribed by MMAFighting.com. “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.”
He also shared some details about the collision:
“The [train] engineer said, Matt had stopped on the gravel road. 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 going almost 50 mph.
“When you’re out in the country, there’s no crossing guards, there’s no lights. 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.”
Hughes held the welterweight championship for two stints during the mid-2000s and is widely considered to be one of the greatest fighters ever in the 170-pound division. He’s one of two people ever to defeat Georges St-Pierre in the octagon.