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Matt Hughes off ventilator, showing minor improvement

Esther Lin

Former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) welterweight champion Matt Hughes continues to show improvement after being airlifted to HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Illinois.

Hughes, 43, was struck by an oncoming train after trying to cross the tracks in his pick-up truck. How or why the UFC hall-of-famer ended up in that situation remains unclear at this time, but the investigation is ongoing.

“Matt is off the ventilator and showing some small signs of improvement,” sister Beth Ulrici Hughes wrote on Facebook (via MMA Fighting). “There are some stories and comments out there that are exaggerated. Please don't believe everything you hear or read. This is going to be a long journey for his recovery.”

The extent of his injuries, as well as the longterm effects, have yet to be determined.

Despite his retirement a few years back, Hughes — perhaps best known for his trilogies with Georges St-Pierre and BJ Penn — was contemplating a return to mixed martial arts (MMA) earlier this year and was still employed with UFC up until last fall.

Expect much more on this developing story as the details become available.

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