On Saturday night, Lyoto Machida landed a spectacular "Danielson" front kick to Randy Couture's jaw that dislodged a molar and sent Couture into retirement. Just as Anderson Silva did in February, when he knocked out Vitor Belfor with a similar kick, Machida credited Steven Seagal for helping him perfect the technique:
"I train this kick a lot. I've had it in my arsenal, and I just had to wait for the right moment to pull the trigger and utilize it. The technique itself [Silva and I have] both known for a long time. But I definitely think Steven Seagal being involved and influencing us and helping us perfect the kick definitely made a difference....[Seagal] always reinforced that to me – to try that kick. 'That kick will land, and it will work.' I definitely give credit to him for helping me perfect that kick."
Keep in mind that this statement is coming from a man who drinks his own piss during training, but it does raise a fair question: Just what in hell is going on here? Like some puffy leather-clad trickster in Amber Vision, Seagal has been oft-spotted lurking in the corner of both Machida and Silva, and not just at fights. It would be easy to dismiss Seagal's presence as a publicity stunt, especially when you consider that the kick is more or less something that you learn as a karate white belt, but both fighters have been quick to acknowledge Seagal's help.
For his part, the star of memorable films such as "Mercenary for Justice" and "Urban Justice" only claimed to have modified the kick for Machida. In this interview with AOL Fanhouse, in which Seagal talks about his "waza," the aikido master doesn't sound like a man possessed of a staggering ego. He sounds more like a dude who has smoked a staggering amount of weed.
See the part at 01:25 when his phone rings and Seagal interrupts the interview to take the call. It's his wife. Seagal calls her "Mom," then says something which can be loosely transcribed as "Kunza. Apa he te. Apa he te." Because he is Steven Seagal. And that is what Steven Seagal does. And you will respect his waza.