Steven Seagal said he worked with Lyoto Machida prior to UFC 129. | Photo: WENN
After knocking out Randy Couture with a front kick at UFC 129, Lyoto Machida credited Steven Seagal for helping him perfect the maneuver.
Plenty of critics believe it is a preposterous claim that Seagal really aided Machida, but the actor and martial artist said it’s true during a recent interview on the Sherdog Radio Network’s “It’s Time” show with Bruce Buffer.
“With Lyoto, I came in probably five days before the fight, something like that,” Seagal said. “Started working on different kinds of elbows, different kinds of punching, different kinds of feetwork … but particularly the kick. I think against a lot of the guys who have spent a lot of their energy on wrestling, they’re not exactly what I would call great strikers. The kick can be very effective. This kick is different.”
A strength of the technique, Seagal said, is that it is deceiving.
“This kick, the thing that’s deceptive about it is that, the normal [technique] where you lift up your knee and you kick, this one I’m kind of trying to teach the guys to lead with the foot,” he said. “I don’t want to say too much about it because I don’t want to give it away completely to the world. It’s different and it’s hard to see. It’s very difficult to see coming, and that’s how my guys have been successful with that.”
UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva also credited Seagal for the front kick he used to knock out Vitor Belfort in February. It was Silva who reached out to Seagal first, Seagal explained.
“Anderson had originally sent me a little postcard saying, ‘Please teach me your lethal stuff,’” Seagal said. “Because a lot of my students know that a lot of the stuff I have is punishing or effective, shall we say. They left a number, and the number was Jorge Guimaraes, the manager of those guys in Black House. He said, ‘Yeah, man, the guys all want to learn from you.’ I went over there and began.”
Seagal cited his own martial arts experience when describing how the kick developed. In particular, he said he’d learned what was effective by fighting.
“Before people called it ‘mixed martial arts,’ we were mixed martial artists,” Seagal added. “I think there are millions of people out there who fall into that category.”
Seagal also said there is more in the arsenal than just front kicks.
“There are some real different elbows,” he said. “There are some real different punches. There are some real different entrances that I’m working on with the guys. There are some other things that I don’t want to talk about that you guys just haven’t seen at all yet. You haven’t seen it, but it’s legal.”
Listen to the full interview (beginning at 18:18).