When people are asked about mainstream martial arts today, the first thing that comes to mind is the UFC and MMA. When the UFC comes to mind, these are the names that pop up in your head: Georges St-Pierre, Nick Diaz, Cain Velazquez and Randy Couture, to name a few. When people asked about mainstream martial arts, say 20 to 30 years ago, these are the names that popped up in their heads: Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, and Steven Seagal.
I am fortunate enough to have a wide enough network in the martial art community to exchange verbal and physical blows with the old guard and the next generation. I have come to the conclusion that, for the most part; the old guard thinks the next generation is weak and the next generation believes the old guard is irrelevant. Don’t get it twisted; I know a fair amount from both classes who identify and respect the other one equally.
Now it isn’t uncommon for these two worlds to collaborate, be it for technique exchange or to just flat out fight for sport. Steven Seagal is a man from the old guard of martial arts. Seagal has a truck load of campy, tacky martial art films under his belt. But god bless the man, he is a tremendously skilled martial artist. Seagal has been relatively active in the MMA world. He has attended events and has worked with Anderson Silva and now and again provided some of his input.
According to MMA Fighting.com, UFC legend Randy Couture stated the only person he person he would fight out of retirement is Seagal. This was back in August, mind you and for all intents and purposes a joke. Yesterday on the MMA Hour, Ariel Helwani interviewed Seagal and he had responded to Couture’s comment.
“First of all, I am a martial artist, and I have been a martial artist all my life. I’ve been fighting all my life, and I believe that the essence of learning how to fight, and fighting, and being a warrior and martial artist is to try to overcome the negative qualities that we all inherent as people, and become a better person, and to help others and help the world be a better place.”
“That being said, I really have to kind of wonder what his intentions and motivations may have been in saying that. I always thought that Randy was my friend and a gentleman. I’m kind of confused as to why he would say that. All I can say is, I’m here. Anybody can find me anytime and anyplace. If Randy really wants to fight me, he can fight me anytime he wants. It’ll be for free, and it’ll be someplace where there are no witnesses.”
I get the odd feeling that maybe Seagal is taking this a little bit too seriously. Couture was half joking, although I think he would really want to take on Seagal for fun, he really didn’t mean anything by it. Let’s get serious for a second. Seagal is sixty years old, albeit still in decent shape and a skilled martial artist. Couture, while not in his prime anymore is over a decade younger than Seagal and has years more experience in terms of no holds barred contests.
If they did do this fight as a no holds barred cage fight, Couture would wipe the floor with Seagal. If it were a street fight in a dark alley where no rules applied, then Seagal may have a chance, but still unlikely. The only reasonable way to measure these two martial artist’s abilities would be in a cage where a man like Couture would flourish and Seagal would perish.
Don’t get your hopes up guys, crazy fights like these are proposed all the time but never happen. Reason being, there are people out there with enough sense not to let a horribly mismatched fight like this ever happen. You can list this fight as just another martial art fan boy’s dream fight, along with Bruce Lee Vs Muhammad Ali and Mr. T Vs any given Walrus.