Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Welterweight champion Matt Hughes was struck by an oncoming train after trying to cross the tracks in his pick-up truck, and was subsequently airlifted to HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Ill., last month.
After showing minor improvements while in a coma, including getting taken off the ventilator that was helping him breathe, updates on his condition were few and far between as his family opted to keep his health status close to the vest, allowing only family to visit him. But, according to Pat Miletich — Hughes’ former trainer and long-time friend — the former Welterweight champion is no longer in a coma and is surprising doctors with how fast he’s improving.
“He is surprising the doctors,” Miletich said in a recent appearance on “The MMA Hour” via (MMA Fighting). “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.”
While an investigation into the accident hasn't revealed further details as to what happened that fateful day, Miletich shared some of his insight as to what led to Hughes getting struck by a train.
“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 going almost 50 miles per hour.
“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.”
And while Miletich hasn’t seen Hughes yet per the family’s request, he is confident his former star pupil will make a full recovery.
“Nobody is allowed to visit him besides family,” Miletich said. “That’s it right now. They don’t want to overload him, they want his energy to go to healing and not to anything else, said Miletich. “I’m 100 percent sure he’s going to make a full recovery.”
Great news, indeed.
Stick with MMAmania.com as more news regarding Hughes’ health becomes available.