Category Archives: Matt Hughes

Frank Trigg marvels at ex-UFC rival Matt Hughes' remarkable recovery from horrific accident

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Filed under: News, Radio Highlight, UFC, Videos

Frank Trigg’s rivalry with Matt Hughes resulted in two UFC encounters and, years later, a UFC Hall of Fame induction.

More than 12 years after their second fight, Trigg (21-9 MMA, 2-5 UFC) says he and Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC), while casual friends, still have a lot they still don’t see eye-to-eye on. But seeing that the man who beat him twice in the octagon survived the battle of a lifetime following a scary accident, Trigg has nothing but awe and admiration for Hughes.

“I am so happy that he made it through,” Trigg told MMAjunkie Radio. “And that his wife still has a husband. His twin brother still has a brother. His son still has a dad. It is huge. You can’t say enough about this guy. And he’s going to pull it together. Whether you believe in a higher power or not – he always has.

“He’s always been that guy who always leans on Jesus Christ, always leans on God. Whatever his belief system is, it worked for him, because he survived this (expletive). If I was in that thing, I would have been dead. One hundred percent, I would not have survived that thing. And he made it through.”

A UFC Hall of Famer who’s highly regarded as one of the greatest 170-pound fighters in MMA history, Hughes was in delicate condition when the truck he was driving was hit by a train near rural Raymond, Ill., back in June. The retired fighter was found unconscious and airlifted to the hospital, where he was in a coma.

Since then, encouraging updates on Hughes’ progress have been shared by various people on social media. Recently, a friend posted a picture dubbing Hughes’ recovery “nothing short of a miracle.” And, on Monday night, we got to see footage of Hughes back on the mat.

Echoing the careful sentiment shared by Hughes’ sister in a previous update, Trigg understands there’s still a long, uncertain road ahead of his fellow ex-fighter. But judging by what his former foe showed so far, he’s encouraged.

“Now, is he fully back? No,” Trigg said. “Does he have a long road to go? Absolutely. He’s got a traumatic brain injury. He was in a coma for six weeks or whatever, with a medically induced coma because of brain bleeding and brain swelling and all that stuff. Has he lost a bunch of weight, as the pictures showed? Of course, he was eating through a tube. He wasn’t chewing any of his own food, so he lost weight.

“Is he going to be able to grapple again or hit mitts again, or anything like that? We don’t know, we have to see that kind of game (note: the interview was conducted before the footage of Hughes grappling came out). But this fool survived a train accident and is trying to use the wheelchair with muscle atrophy. Trying to stand up and walk on his own. He’s a survivor.”

Trigg and Hughes were last seen in the octagon in April of 2005, at UFC 52, when a rear-naked choke by Hughes put an end to the rematch of a UFC 45 bout that had ended pretty much the same way. The fight, one of UFC president Dana White’s all-time favorites, was added to the promotion’s revamped Hall of Fame in 2015.

A lot has happened since. Now 43, Hughes fought another 12 times in the octagon before retiring with a still-impressive record. Trigg, in turn, went on to add 15 professional MMA fights to his record before re-focusing his efforts into other aspects of the fight game – such as refereeing and judging.

Trigg says he and Hughes talk when they see each other – which happens quite often considering Hughes is on a board for a charity that Trigg works with. They do agree on a few stances – such as the military, guns and hunting. There is still, however, plenty of things they disagree on.

“Politically, we’re on opposite ends of the spectrum,” Trigg said.

Still, they managed to find common ground.

“It’s pretty cool to look back at like the Muhammad Ali (vs. Joe Frazier rivalry) – how 50 years later they were still arguing, they were still fighting, they didn’t like each other,” Trigg said. “And Matt and I have gotten to a space where we can be in the same room and not throw jabs at each other.

“Of course, I have to be a little more humble because he beat me twice, and that game has to be played when we’re together. But, man, I’m so happy. I can’t say enough good things about him surviving this thing.”

To hear from Trigg, check out the video above.

And for more on the upcoming MMA schedule, stay tuned to the MMA Rumors section of the site.

MMAjunkie Radio broadcasts Monday-Friday at 1 p.m. ET (10 a.m. PT) live from Mandalay Bay Resort & Casino’s Race & Sports Book. The show is hosted by “Gorgeous” George Garcia and producer Brian “Goze” Garcia. For more information or to download past episodes, go towww.mmajunkie.com/radio.

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Source: MMA Junkie

From scary accident to coma to rolling, UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes is back on the mat

Matt Hughes’ incredible recovery continues.

Hughes, once in a coma after a horrific truck-train collision, was on the mat recently rolling around with longtime friend Tony Zucca.

Instagram Photo

“I leave for only five days and come back to his ass wanting (and able) to roll! Unbelievable! Spare me the grappling lessons,” Zucca wrote Monday on Instagram.

One week after posting a picture of Hughes smiling in a wheelchair, Yucca posted a video of the UFC Hall of Famer controlling him in guard and even attempting a guillotine choke.

“The only things that are important: firing muscles that haven’t been used in a long time…and having fun!” Zucca wrote. “So awesome to see that smile and hear that laugh again.”

The clip is an incredible testament to Hughes’ resiliency. Two months ago, his prognosis was dire after his truck collided with a train on a country road in Raymond, Ill. The 43-year-old UFC Hall of Famer was airlifted to a hospital and placed in a medically induced coma because of a brain bleed. His longtime coach, Pat Miletich, said the former UFC champion might have been trying to beat the train and spun his tires before he crossed the tracks.

But since the accident, Hughes has made rapid progress. He came out of a coma in July, according to Miletich, and has been making huge strides as he recovers. Yucca said the transformation is nothing short of miraculous.

“If I posted a video from day one and compared it to today…and you still didn’t believe in miracles…well, there’s nothing that’s ever going to change your mind,” he wrote.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Matt Hughes' friend shares picture, update on UFC legend: Progress 'nothing short of a miracle'

Matt Hughes went out for sushi, and that is some encouraging news.

Hughes, 43, was involved in a scary accident on June 16, when a train reportedly struck the passenger side of his truck as he crossed railroad tracks in Montgomery County, Ill. As a result, Hughes was airlifted to a nearby hospital. He was in a coma and put on a ventilator.

Late Sunday night, close friend Tony Zucca posted a photo of himself and Hughes on social media to offer the latest update on his condition, calling his progress “nothing short of a miracle” – and that includes a quick departure from the hospital to grab some sushi (via Instagram).

Instagram Photo

I can’t even describe the emotions I am feeling as I write this post. Less than two months ago I didn’t know if my best friend was going to make it, and tonight we made a jail break for sushi (in disguise. Ha). Talk about a rollercoaster of emotions! His progress is nothing short of a miracle. He is working so hard and fights through the frustration. He is, as he’s always been, an inspiration. I can’t wait to hit the mats with him again…and he told me today that he has “one more round” left in him! Ha. (He laughed…but definitely wasn’t joking!). Thank you for all of your prayers! Please keep them up as he still has a long road ahead of him. I am witnessing the power of them firsthand! So thankful!

It’s uplifting to read that update, but it also echoes the message from Hughes’ sister last month, that he still faced a “long journey for his recovery,” even though he was taken off the ventilator.

One of the greatest welterweights in MMA history, Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC) held the title from 2001-2004 and 2004-2006, defending his belt on seven different occasions.

Here’s hoping the legend’s journey continues trending in the right direction.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

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Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured, Featured Videos, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Video: Watch Alvey Kulina's comeback fight walkout vs. Matt Hughes ahead of 'Kingdom' finale

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News

The Audience Network MMA drama “Kingdom” wraps up its three-season, 40-episode run tonight with its series finale.

On the show’s final episode, Navy St. MMA gym owner Alvey Kulina (Frank Grillo) has his long-awaited comeback fight against none other than show guest star and UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes. Ahead of the show’s final episode, take a sneak peek at Kulina’s walkout on the show and cage entrance with Hughes in the opposite corner.

The series finale airs tonight on Audience Network (available exclusively on DIRECTV and AT&T U-verse platforms) at 8 p.m. ET/PT.

Check out the video above for Kulina’s loud and dramatic walkout ahead of tonight’s “Kingdom” Season 3 finale and series finale. And if you haven’t had a chance to see the show, the series is available on demand through Directv and AT&T Uverse.

Below, don’t miss some of our other “Kingdom” exclusive content with the show’s creator and stars:

The Blue Corner is MMAjunkie‘s official blog and is edited by Mike Bohn.

Filed under: Blue Corner, Featured Videos, News
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC 214's Robbie Lawler: 'It's been hard' not having mentor Matt Hughes by my side for fight week

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC, Videos

LA MIRADA, Calif. – In the days leading up to his UFC 214 fight with Donald Cerrone, Robbie Lawler is having a difficult time dealing with the absence of longtime friend and mentor Matt Hughes.

Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC), a UFC Hall of Famer, was recently involved in a tragic accident where his moving vehicle was struck by a train, leaving the former UFC welterweight champion in a coma. Hughes is apparently now out of the coma and described as “improving,” but Lawler is still understandably filled with concern and feeling the void left by someone who is often by his side throughout fight week.

“It’s been hard,” Lawler said at Thursday’s UFC 214 media day. “He’s usually here with us, right by our side hanging out, making sure I’m all right. It is what it is. He’s doing better, but that’s like something his family should talk about and let the media know through their outlets, not mine.”

UFC 214 takes place Saturday at Honda Center in Anaheim, Calif. Lawler (27-11 MMA, 12-5 UFC) vs. Cerrone (32-7 MMA, 19-4 UFC) airs on the pay-per-view main card following prelims on FXX and UFC Fight Pass.

Lawler, who is fighting for the first time since he lost the UFC 170-pound title to Tyron Woodley at UFC 201 in July 2016, was originally scheduled to fight Cerrone at UFC 213 earlier this month, but the fight was pushed back after “Cowboy” sustained an injury, resulting in a three-week delay to the bout.

“Ruthless” said he had planned to visit Hughes in-person for the first time since his accident after UFC 213. The postponement to the fight prevented that from happening, though.

“It’s been hard,” Lawler reiterated. “Forcing it to this date forced me to not be able to go when I wanted to go.”

Although it would be more than reasonable if the situation threw Lawler, the No. 3 fighter in the latest USA TODAY Sports/MMAjunkie MMA welterweight rankings, off his game mentally for the bout with No. 11-ranked Cerrone, he said that’s not necessarily the case. The fight is almost a positive distraction, but once it’s done with, Lawler said he will be able to put his priorities where they need to be when it comes to his friend.

“It’s not on my mind until somebody asks me because I’m pretty good at focusing on what I need to focus on,” Lawler said. “It’s rough.”

For more on UFC 214, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Matt Hughes' sister: 'Small signs of improvement' for UFC legend now off ventilator

UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes is off a ventilator and in the middle of a “long journey for his recovery” after a scary truck-train accident last month, his sister said in a family statement posted Tuesday on Facebook.

On June 16, Hughes’ truck reportedly was struck on the passenger side when he crossed railroad tracks directly in front of the train on Beeler Trail in Montgomery County, Ill. The crossing did not have a barricade and was marked only with a sign.

Hughes, 43, a native of Hillsboro, Ill., was unconscious when first responders arrived and immediately airlifted to HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield.

On Tuesday, Beth Ulrici Hughes provided an update on the UFC legend’s condition, stating that he is off a ventilator and “showing small signs of improvement.” She also addressed what the ordeal has been like for the family.

Here’s the full statement:

Update from Matt’s family:

Audra Hughes, Annette Fuller, Emily Hays Hughes

Please understand that Matt was the only public figure in our family. The rest of us are just regular everyday small town folks. We have never had to deal with the media and all the added stress that comes with it. We are all very private people and we are doing our best to keep you all informed; but our focus right now is Matt and his recovery. No news is good news!

Matt is off the ventilator and showing some small signs of improvement. 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. Please continue to keep Matt in your prayers. He is strong, he has heart and he will not give up! We are faithful in the fact that he will recover with God’s Grace and Mercy! We as a family ask everyone to keep praying for Matt!

One of the greatest welterweights in MMA history, Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC) held the title from 2001-2004 and 2004-2006, defending his belt on seven different occasions. He most recently fought in 2011, losing via knockout to Josh Koscheck, which marked the second straight time he’d been knocked out after a previous loss to UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumorssection of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

Offer extended to transfer UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes to brain trauma center in Atlanta

Illinois State Police continue to investigate a truck-train crash that left UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes hospitalized.

Officers from the Traffic Crash Reconstruction Unit hope to speak to Hughes to find out what happened when his truck was struck last Friday by a train on Beeler Trail in Montgomery County, Ill.

Officers are waiting to see if his condition improves so they can interview him, ISP public information officer Jason Bradley told MMAjunkie. They’re also waiting toxicology results from the hospital where he was airlifted following the accident.

“If he obviously is in a position where they think he’s going to pull through, the investigation will continue, because they’re going to want to interview him,” Bradley said. “They’re going to go back and recreate everything they can up to that point. They’re going to wait for toxicology tests to come back.

“There really is no time frame, because a lot of times, a majority of the investigation will be completed, but they’re waiting on one thing before they can close it.”

Hughes, 43, a native of Hillsboro, Ill., remains in stable condition at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield. In a statement released Sunday, his sister Beth Ulrici said Hughes has no broken bones or internal injuries, yet is not awake and not responding. He is on a ventilator.

UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com that Hughes had suffered head trauma.

The Hughes family was recently contacted by the Triumph Over Tragedy Foundation, a nonprofit whose mission is to “support the family unit through biblical principles from the initial impact of a tragedy of illness.” According to a person close to the family, who asked for anonymity because of the sensitivity of the situation, Triumph founder Reggie Jones has offered to evaluate Hughes and get him transferred to the Shepherd Center in Atlanta, a facility that specializes in traumatic brain injuries.

Hughes’ truck reportedly was struck on the passenger side after he crossed the railroad tracks directly in front of the train. The crossing did not have a barricade and was marked only with a sign. Bradley did not have any information on the train involved in the accident.

Bradley said Hughes was unconscious when first responders got to him Friday morning and was immediately airlifted to Springfield. The hospital said in a statement, “Hughes’ family asks that you respect their privacy during this difficult time. They ask that you keep Matt in your thoughts and prayers.”

One of the greatest welterweights in MMA history, Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC) is a UFC Hall of Famer and two-time champion, holding the title from 2001-2004 and 2004-2006, defending his belt on seven different occasions. He most recently fought in 2011, losing via knockout to Josh Koscheck, which marked the second straight time he’d been knocked out after a previous loss to UFC Hall of Famer B.J. Penn.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, visit the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes stable, but not yet awake after truck-train accident

UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes remains hospitalized following a Friday accident when a truck he was driving was hit by an oncoming train.

Hughes’ sister, Beth Ulrici, today issued a statement on behalf of her family on her Facebook page updating her brother’s condition and asking for continued support:

“Our family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support,” Ulrici’s statement reads. “Please understand that there are many false reports out there by people who say they are close to the family. We will post another update here when we have more news.

“Matt is stable and has no broken bones or internal injuries. He has some minor lacerations and bruising and is currently being weaned from his ventilator. He is not yet awake and not responding as we would like to see but we see the fight in him.

“Matts strength and determination along with God’s Mercy and Grace will bring him through this. We ask that you all continue to pray.”

Hughes’ longtime manager when he was a fighter, Monte Cox, told MMAjunkie late Saturday that the family is hoping updates on Hughes’ condition only come from its members and not from others.

“While the family appreciates everybody’s good wishes, it wants to make sure only accurate news is reported,” Cox told MMAjunkie in a statement. “Therefore, the family is asking that beginning immediately, the media only report information coming directly from the family.”

Cox on Saturday indicated that Hughes had made rapid progress in healing from his injuries, passing word from Hughes’ twin brother, Mark Hughes, that the former champ’s “eyes are closed, but he is awake today and squeezing hands.”

However, Hughes’ sister contradicted the accuracy of that account in the official family statement, saying he is not awake and not responding.

The State Journal-Register in Springfield, Ill., near Hughes’ hometown of Hillsboro, reported the former fighter had to be stabilized by a trauma team at HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, citing a statement from the facility, after he was airlifted there following the collision.

The State Journal-Register reported Hughes crossed a set of railroad tracks near rural Raymond, Ill., directly in front of an oncoming train. The truck he was driving was hit on the passenger side, the Illinois State Police told the newspaper. According to SJ-R.com, the state police are investigating the crash.

UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com that Hughes suffered head trauma.

Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC), 43, is a 2010 UFC Hall of Famer and one of the greatest 170-pound fighters in MMA history. He held the UFC’s welterweight title from 2001-2004 and 2004-2006. He registered seven total 170-pound title defenses, a record later broken by Georges St-Pierre.

Hughes last fought in 2011 and suffered back-to-back losses to B.J. Penn and Josh Kosceck in his final two appearances. During a decorated career that saw him emerge as one of MMA’s biggest stars – during the sport’s biggest growth period – he defeated the likes of St-Pierre, Sean Sherk, Penn, Royce Gracie, Frank Trigg and Matt Serra, among others.

Hughes, who took up MMA in 1998 after wrestling at Eastern Illinois University and earning NCAA Division I All-American honors, formally announced his retirement in 2013. He then joined the organization’s front office as the UFC Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations, though that position recently was eliminated in the wake of the UFC’s sale to WME-IMG. He’s recently hinted at a possible return to competition.

MMAjunkie will have further updates on Hughes’ condition as they become available.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: Featured, News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes awake and responsive day after truck-train accident

Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes is doing better one day after his truck collided with a train.

Hughes’ longtime manager, Monte Cox, today told MMAjunkie the 43-year-old former champ is awake and responsive less than 24 hours after he was reportedly in a coma.

“His eyes are closed, but he is awake today and squeezing hands,” reported Cox, who is receiving text message updates from Hughes’ twin brother Mark Hughes.

The UFC Hall of Famer was airlifted Friday morning to HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Ill., after Hughes’ truck reportedly crossed a track and was struck on the passenger side by an oncoming train. UFC President Dana White said Hughes had suffered head trauma.

The hospital released a statement saying Hughes had been stabilized and asked for privacy during his recovery.

Cox on Friday said he’d been informed that Hughes had suffered a collapsed lung and was in a medically induced coma because of a brain bleed. But Hughes apparently made a quick turnaround this morning and is now responsive.

Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC), who held the UFC welterweight title from 2001-2004 and 2004-2006, was contemplating a comeback earlier this year after being cut from a behind-the-scenes job with the promotion as its VP of athlete development and government relations.

Hughes last fought in 2011, suffering a knockout loss to Josh Koscheck after a previous knockout loss to now-Hall of Famer B.J. Penn. During his reign as champion, he beat some of the sport’s greatest at 170 pounds, including Georges St-Pierre, Sean Sherk, Penn and Royce Gracie, among others.

MMAjunkie will continue to provide updates on Hughes’ condition.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie

UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes airlifted after truck-train collision

UFC notable Matt Hughes has been airlifted to a medical facility following an accident.

A truck he was in collided with a moving train today, UFC President Dana White told ESPN.com.

“Our thoughts are with Matt Hughes and his family,” the UFC’s official account subsequently tweeted:

White told ESPN.com that Hughes suffered head trauma, but additional details about his condition weren’t immediately available.

Hughes (45-9 MMA, 18-7 UFC), 43, is a 2010 UFC Hall of Famer and one of the greatest 170-pound fighters in MMA history. He held the UFC’s welterweight title from 2001-2004 and 2004-2006. He registered seven total 170-pound title defenses, a record later broken by Georges St-Pierre.

Hughes last fought in 2011 and suffered back-to-back losses to fellow vets B.J. Penn and Josh Kosceck in his final two appearances. During a decorated career that saw him emerge as one of MMA’s biggest stars – during the sport’s biggest growth period – he defeated the likes of St-Pierre, Sean Sherk, Penn, Royce Gracie, Frank Trigg and Matt Serra, among others.

Hughes, who took up MMA in 1998 after wrestling at Eastern Illinois University and earning NCAA Division I All-American honors, formally announced his retirement in 2013. He then joined the organization’s front office as the UFC Vice President of Athlete Development and Government Relations. He’s recently hinted at a possible return to competition.

MMAjunkie will have further updates on Hughes’ condition as they become available.

For more on the UFC’s upcoming schedule, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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Filed under: News, UFC
Source: MMA Junkie