Matt Hughes has been airlifted to a hospital in Springfield, Illinois after an auto accident on Friday. Hughes’s truck was hit by a train and, according to UFC president Dana White, the 43-year-old former champion suffered head trauma.
Police claim Hughes drove a pickup truck across a railroad crossing and “directly in front of a train and the train stuck the passenger side of the truck.” The crash took place at 10:43 a.m. in Raymond, Illinois, just 12 miles north of Hughes’ home in Hillsboro.
Hughes was one of the UFC’s first true superstars. He held the organization’s welterweight championship on two occasions during a dominant stretch from 2001 through 2006 and his rivalry with Georges St-Pierre was one of the sport’s best ever.
Hughes retired after losing to Josh Koscheck at UFC 135, wrapping up his career with a stellar record of 45-9 with 35 stoppages. He is a UFC Hall of Famer and a NJCAA Hall of Famer thanks to a stellar college wrestling career.
Our thoughts are obviously with Hughes and his family. He will always be remembered as one of the greatest welterweights in mixed martial arts history. As we hope for a full recovery, here’s a look back at what Dana White has previously called his favorite fight in UFC history, Hughes’ incredible submission win over Frank Trigg: