Last year, UFC Middleweight champion Anderson Silva turned in one of MMA’s all-time great jaw-dropping KO’s when he knocked out Vitor Belfort at UFC 126 with a front kick. Then, just a few months later, Lyoto Machida took it a step further withe his jumping switch front kick KO over Randy Couture. In the aftermath of those incredible knock-outs, one rather surprising name kept coming up: Steven Seagal.
The action movie star, modern day reality TV figure, and Aikido black belt was in the corner of both Silva and Lyoto. After both fights, Seagal claimed credit for the kicks, claiming they were techniques he had long worked on and had taught to these two UFC fighters. Then his connection with Silva, Machida, and in turn the UFC faded, and we have not heard much from him in MMA circles since. Now, he’s back.
Recently, Seagal appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live and took the opportunity to once again assert his role in the Silva and Machida KO’s:
I am teaching Anderson Silva, Lyoto Machida… I show them, you know, a lot. Not everything I know, but I show them punches and what we call Ashi Sabaki, which means how you move with your feet, how you enter, hand angle, joints, but mostly I’m teaching them kicks and punches…
There is a signature kick that I’ve taught them that they’ve knocked champions out with and won world championships with.
Fascinating to see Seagal still holding strong to these older, pre-MMA conceptions of martial arts techniques and the idea that a front kick is some sort of deadly art that only a true Aikido master like Seagal can know. It’s a very outdated view of martial arts, but then again, what else do you expect from the fading action star?
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