Our thoughts are with the MMA community following a rough past couple of days.
On Friday 16th June, former UFC Welterweight Champion Matt Hughes was involved in a collision after his truck was struck by a moving train in his hometown of Illinois.
UFC President Dana White has spoken about the incident ‘Apparently he has head trauma, his family is travelling to him now’. The former NCAA All-American was inducted into the UFC Hall of Fame back in 2010 and took a front office job under White.
Hughes fell into a coma but was somewhat responsive, as he was able to squeeze people’s hands. According to his family statement, Matt has yet to wake up, but he managed to get away from the injury with no broken bones or major internal injuries.
The second more serious fatality occured also on Friday, involving former UFC Heavyweight star Tim Hague who was knocked out during a boxing fight in Edmonton and died on Sunday. He was knocked out eight times, including four times in the last two years.
After the end of his UFC career in 2011, Hague said he was going to take time off following a concussion. “I’m gonna take a little break away from MMA, let the brain heal from my concussion, and get the passion/fire back’.
On Saturday, before Hague’s death Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson who lost his Light-Heavyweight title fight to Champion Daniel Cormier at UFC210, cited Hague’s injury when talking about his decision to retire earlier this year.
Johnson has said “This is a reality check for me! I’ve knocked a lot of people out and I don’t know how this didn’t happen when I fought. I’ve been afraid of this happening to me and after learning about CTE brain damage, I’m afraid of it happening to anybody.”
These two cases show how precious life can be and how quick it can be taken away from you. The MMA community has rallyed around Hughes and has Hauge’s deepist sympathies in mind.