Cox, who is speaking directly with Hughes’ brother Mark, said family and doctors are “optimistic and hopeful” about Hughes’ condition.
“He is awake, but eyes closed,” Cox said. “Can squeeze hands.”
Hughes, 43, was driving a pickup truck Friday morning in Raymond, Ill. Per the Illinois State Police, the legendary UFC fighter approached a “railroad grade crossing marked with crossbucks” in the truck. The truck crossed the tracks “directly in front of a train and the train struck the passenger side of the truck,” according to the police release.
Hughes was seriously injured in the crash and airlifted to HSHS St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Ill. The hospital wrote in a statement Friday night that its trauma team had stabilized Hughes and “continues to help him in his recovery.”
The Illinois State Police Crash Reconstruction Unit is still investigating the cause of the crash and there are no updates as of Saturday afternoon, per a spokesperson.
Hughes is one of the greatest champions in UFC history, holding the welterweight title multiples times between 2001 and 2006. He owns victories over the likes of BJ Penn and Georges St-Pierre. Hughes retired from competition in 2011, but recently discussed a comeback.