Our family is overwhelmed by the outpouring of love and support. 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. Matt’s strength and determination along with God’s mercy and grace will bring him through this. We ask that you all continue to pray.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This statement calls into question the statements made by someone who claimed to be Hughes’ long-time manager, Monte Cox, whose comments were published all over the media (ESPN, major news outlets, MMA websites and including our website), saying Hughes was “awake and responsive” a day after the collision. We regret that we fell sucker for the previous report and appreciate the honest truth regarding the situation.
Hughes’ final fights in 2011 led to two defeats in his final appearances. He retired from the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) in 2013. Hughes is hailed as being one of the being one of the biggest names in the sport of mixed martial arts and has become quite an icon himself in central Illinois. Throughout his career, he has defeated well-known adversaries like Georges St-Pierre and Sean Sherk among others. Hughes is an alum of Eastern Illinois University in Charleston, where he earned Division I NCAA All-American honors and was a two-time Class A state champion in the 145-pound weight class in wrestling in the 1990s at Hillsboro High School. Following his retirement in 2013, Hughes accepted a position at the UFC’s front office as Vice President of Athlete Development and Governmental Relations, which was also rumored that he recently vacated, citing a possible comeback fight, but no official statement or announcements were made.
Jake Leonard, a broadcast media and journalism veteran, is the editor-in-chief of Heartland Newsfeed. Leonard is also GM and program director of Heartland Newsfeed Radio Network, wrestling editor and contributing writer for Ambush Sports, a contributing writer for My Sports Vote and Midwest Sports Network, and a former contributor to Bleacher Report and Overtime Heroics. He resides at home in Nokomis, Ill. with his dog Buster.