Nothing entertains me more than Steven Seagal’s wild claims, like having invented the front kick, or correctly predicting every UFC fight. But credit where credit’s due, he did get sort-of thanked by both Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva, for sort of kinda teaching them a kick they mostly already knew. Recently, Seagal showed up to UFC 139 to watch Jon Jones, whom Seagal calls “a friend,” despite Jones declining Seagal’s offer to train him before the fight. I don’t want to take Seagal-Kun out of context, but he did repeat the “friend” thing like three times. Here’s a partial transcript of his interview with Ariel Helwani after the fight:
[answering Helwani's question about why Seagal was there] “These guys are my friends too, I’m just teachin em, but they’re my friends too.”
Helwani: I noticed him [Jones] go for the front kick to the face there, did you see that as well?
Seagal: Yeah, him and I did talk about that, but he… he… hasn’t, you know, he hasn’t learned it yet. [laughing] And I haven’t taught it.
Helwani: When did you speak to him?
Seagal: Uh, yesterday? Day before yesterday?
Helwani: Wow, so you actually have a relationship with Jon Jones?
Seagal: Well, he’s a kind of a friend.
Helwani: How do you think Jones would match up against Anderson Silva? What do you think about that fight?
Seagal: I don’t really want to see that fight. Because Anderson’s a close, close friend, and Jon’s a friend… I’d rather that they don’t fight.
With that in mind, here’s what Jon Jones told Jim Rome yesterday:
It was just confusing, really, to bring in someone you don’t work with at all to give you last second advice. [...] I’m not even sure how he got my number, but he was just like, ‘Hey, listen. I think you’re gonna win the fight and when I predict someone’s gonna win I’m never wrong. I’ve been watching the sport for so many years I’m never wrong when I make my predictions and there’s things I want to go over with you and things like that.’ It was all very strange. I don’t want to badmouth him too bad. He had good intentions, I think, but I definitely wasn’t interested in having Steven Seagal in my corner. Obviously if it was Jet Li or someone…Jet Li would be pretty cool.I definitely would take that call for sure.” [via MMAMania, CagePotato]
Ouch, Jet Li? That’s a low blow, man. Meanwhile, that’s right, the same guy who was trying to teach Anderson Silva eye gouges and karate chops to the neck (both illegal in MMA, incidentally) barely a year ago, told Jon Jones he’s been watching the sport for “many years.” (Though with his famous inability to keep track of space and time, “many years” could mean “five minutes”). The incredible thing is, if you watch him, you know that Steven Seagal believes all the things he says with absolute certainty. It’s almost as if someone hired Kim Jong Il’s PR people to control half of his brain. “What? Yes, that’s right, Steven Seagal once punched Hitler in the face and taught bears how to forage for berries. He gets 100 points on every skee ball, and used the tickets to buy a Ferrari.”