Sunday, January 14, 2018

‘Cause a country boy can survive
Country folks can survive

On June 16, 2017 UFC Hall of Famer Matt Hughes was driving a vehicle that collided with a moving coal train. He was airlifted to a hospital in Springfield, Illinois. Shortly afterward the family released a statement, via the social network of his sister Beth Hughes Ulrici, explaining that the fighter was in coma.

About a month later, on July 24, Hughes’ former coach and fellow UFC Hall of Famer Pat Miletich appeared on Ariel Helwani’s MMA Hour and reported that the fighter was out of a coma. He also explained how he believed the accident occurred. Hughes stopped on a hill at a railroad, as a coal train approached; it had no crossing signal, and the road was gravel. Coal trains are long, entailing a substantial wait, so Hughes floored it. But being uphill on gravel road the tires spun and the vehicle was struck by the train as it crossed.

Now seven months on, Hughes made an emotional return to the Octagon at UFC Fight Night 124 to his trademark song “A Country Boy Can Survive.”

While Hughes’ gait clearly remains compromised, the crowd cheered his return wildly. Welcome home Matt Hughes!