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UFC legend Matt Hughes off ventilator, showing ‘small signs of improvement’

Matt Hughes Photos
Matt Hughes is showing improvement after a truck-train crash last month.
Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

Matt Hughes is doing better after being seriously injured in a scary truck-train crash last month.

The UFC legend is no longer on a ventilator and has shown "small signs of improvement,” per a statement posted by his family to his sister Beth Ulrici Hughes’ Facebook page.

“Matt is off the ventilator and showing some small signs of improvement,” the statement read. “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.”

On June 16, Hughes was driving a pickup truck in Raymond, Ill., near his hometown of Hillsboro. According to the Illinois State Police, Hughes drove the truck over train tracks directly in front of an oncoming train. The train struck the pickup on the passenger side. Hughes had to be airlifted to HSHS St. John's Hospital in Springfield, Ill., where he has been treated ever since.

Days after the crash, Hughes was in stable condition with no broken bones or internal injuries, but only minimally responsive. His family has provided updates on his status, but has warned not to listen to news about Hughes unless it comes directly from them.

“Please understand that Matt was the only public figure in our family,” the statement read. “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!”

Police are still investigating the reason for the crash.

Hughes, 43, is one of the greatest champions in UFC history and a UFC Hall of Famer. He held the UFC welterweight title multiple times between 2001 and 2006. Hughes owns victories over the likes of Georges St-Pierre and BJ Penn. Recently, he was considering a comeback after retiring back in 2011.

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