Former UFC welterweight champion Matt Hughes has been airlifted to a medical facility after the truck he was driving collided with a train Friday.
The accident occurred just south of Raymond, Illinois, about 12 miles north of Hughes’ home in Hillsboro.
According to Illinois State Police, Hughes drove a pickup truck across a railroad grade crossing “directly in front of a train and the train struck the passenger side of the truck” at 10:43 a.m.
HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois, said Hughes was airlifted there and its trauma team “stabilized him and continues to help him in his recovery.”
“Hughes’ family asks that you respect their privacy during this difficult time,” the hospital’s statement, released Friday night, said. “They ask that you keep Matt in your thoughts and prayers.”
Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office Rick Robbins confirmed his office was one of several agencies called to the scene of the accident. Illinois State Police are currently investing the crash.
Our thoughts are with Matt Hughes and his family. pic.twitter.com/TF6BaHSa85
— UFC (@ufc) June 16, 2017
Earlier Friday, UFC president Dana White said he had been in contact with Hughes’ family.
“Apparently he has head trauma,” White said. “His family is traveling to him now.”
White said Hughes, 43, was apparently helping a friend when the accident occurred.
Hughes (45-9) held the UFC’s welterweight championship at various points between 2001 and 2006. He is recognized as one of the greatest 170-pound fighters of all time. Hughes, who has not fought since 2011 and announced his official retirement in 2013, publicly said he was considering a comeback fight earlier this year.