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Steven Seagal is a Fraud?


Bring up the name Steven Seagal to fighters and the responses will vary. Some of the best fighters in the world give him props, and thank him for what he has taught them. Some turn him away from their dressing rooms just hours before they fight. Now, one fighter has come out and said what he thinks rather plainly — that Seagal is a fraud.

UFC fighter Nam Phan laid it out to MMAmania’s Brian Hemminger.

“I think that guy’s a freaking fraud man. What the heck is that? Oh God that guy pisses me off! That’s my opinion. Did he teach martial arts at all? Even if he weight lifts or does sports, plays football or something, if a guy comes in a couple hours before your game or your match, you know it doesn’t make a difference. This guy is saying, “I came into the back room and I taught him to kick and that made all the difference,” as if Lyoto Machida and Anderson Silva didn’t know how to do a front kick before meeting him.

“I remember watching Lyoto fighting Randy Couture and he knocks Randy Couture out with a front kick and he goes, ‘I’d like to thank Steven Seagal and my dad.’ I was like, if I was Lyoto’s dad, I’d freakin’ slap him. Like, what the heck dude, ‘I taught you karate since you were a little freakin’ kid. I raised you, I fed you, I gave you clothes on your back and you thank this guy before me?! I should disown you!”

Anderson Silva with Steven SeagalThe problem with what Phan is saying is that Seagal is a respected martial artist and teacher. He was the first foreigner to operate an Aikido Dojo in Japan, and he’s a 7th-dan black belt in Aikido.

While that doesn’t make Seagal the be all, end all when it comes to martial arts, you’d have to be a major loon to suggest he’s not knowledgeable or experienced.  Plus, if Machida and Anderson Silva give him props, isn’t that enough? Could their be an ulterior motive for their praise of Seagal? Like money? Then we’d really have a story.

Phan isn’t the only one with strong thoughts about Seagal. MMA legend Bas Rutten thinks Seagal is crazy. When he heard that Seagal was taking credit for teaching the kick that knocked out Vitor Belfort, he thought it was a skit. “He taught him a front kick to the face? He invented that? Nobody else knows this kick yet? What planet does he live on?” said Rutten.

Jon Jones recently turned Seagal away from his dressing room before his UFC 135 fight with Quinton “Rampage”Jackson. Seagal told MMA Fighting’s Ariel Helwani that he thought Jones “wasn’t himself” during that bout. That could be because he wanted to pop into Jones’ dressing room right before the fight and Jones said no.

“I didn’t think that would be a good idea,” Jones said. “My training staff works very hard on me and I’m their prodigy and I don’t want to disrespect them by welcoming someone else’s master into our room, into our house, into my family.”

So it’s still a mixed bag on Seagal. A current champ — Silva and a former champ –Machida swear by the man. Others? Not so much. I think most fans just consider it all kind of weird.

About Matt Lo Cascio

Matt Lo Cascio is the co-founder and editor of Chicago's MMA. He is the former play-by-play announcer for the XFO and other organizations, and he has been published by ESPN.com, DraftKings, The Comeback, FanSided, and more.

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