UFC icon Matt Hughes is widely regarded as one of the best MMA fighters ever. However, the two-time UFC Welterweight Champion was involved in a near-fatal train accident in 2017 and suffered serious head injuries, with doctors needing to put him in a medically-induced coma. Hughes has recovered since then and is now continuing to work on his fitness, overcoming several challenges along the way.
On June 16, 2017, Matt Hughes was driving down a backcountry road in Raymond, Illinois. As Hughes attempted to cross a railroad track, a train slammed into the passenger side of his truck just before noon. Hughes was airlifted from the accident scene to a hospital in Springfield and when doctors noticed his brain was bleeding, they put him in a medically-induced coma.
Hughes remained hospitalised for almost a month recovering from his injuries. However, after defying death, Hughes began the slow recovery process, which included learning how to perform daily functions like brushing his teeth and walking.
Hughes made an appearance at a UFC show in St. Louis in January 2018, showing how much he’d recovered from the accident. In June 2020, Hughes shared a series of images and videos on Instagram to commemorate the date of his accident, showing both his injured state following the collision and his progression at the time. He was also seen running for the first time following his horrific accident.
Hughes continues to work on his body and recovery nearly four years after being involved in a train accident. The former MMA star often posts videos of himself while in the gym on Instagram. In a recent post, Hughes wrote, “My life has changed so much in these past three years, some for the better, some for the worse. According to my MRI, I should have never woke up from my coma. I should be dead or have what is referred to as a locked-in syndrome. But as an athlete, I continued to fight my problems and I knew I had to take my recovery one step at a time"
Hughes retired from the UFC in January 2013. He twice held the UFC’s welterweight title and is a two-time inductee into the UFC Hall of Fame, joining the Pioneer Wing in 2010 and the Fight Wing in 2015 for his rematch with Frank Trigg at UFC 52.