UFC St. Louis brought with it a feelgood moment when the legendary Matt Hughes made the walk to the octagon one more time.
UFC Hall of Famer and welterweight legend Matt Hughes made the walk to the octagon on Sunday night. Only, the trip to the octagon in St. Louis, part of the UFC Fight Night 124 televised card, was unlike any other Hughes had ever made. It wasn’t in advance of a fight. It wasn’t for some promotional duty or other. It was a trip made out of determination, after an accident that nearly killed the star last year.
The appearance was Hughes’ first in the UFC since the accident in June, which saw the former champion’s truck hit by a train. At the time, there had been talk of a Hughes comeback, perhaps under the Bellator MMA banner. When tragedy struck, however, the only fight that mattered was for Hughe’s life. And after that, the long road to recovery.
Despite suffering no broken bones in the accident, Hughes was essentially comatose, unresponsive for an extended period afterward. Hughes was hospitalized at St. John’s Hospital, and his family worked with the Triumph Over Tragedy Foundation, of which Hughes had spent years as a board member. The foundation helps to provide care for those with brain and spinal cord injuries, and their families. Hughes would eventually overcome the odds, and returned to the hospital in October to honor those who helped in his recovery. The ordeal serves as a reminder of how fickle life can be, and to cherish what’s important.
While Hughes still suffers from mobility issues, it was inspiring to see him making the walk one more time. You can watch Matt Hughes’ return to the octagon above.