Steven Seagal: Still Bitter over Jon Jones Choosing Jet Li?

Jordy McElroyCorrespondent IJune 20, 2012

Steven Seagal (Wiki), Jon Jones (Esther Lin/MMAFighting), Jet Li (Wiki)
Steven Seagal (Wiki), Jon Jones (Esther Lin/MMAFighting), Jet Li (Wiki)

Jon Jones can't punch or kick well, at least according to Steven Seagal.

During an appearance on "The MMA Hour," the Hollywood movie star spoke with Ariel Helwani about the various flaws he sees in the UFC champ's striking technique.

"I respect every single fighter that gets out there in the Octagon and fights. Jon is a very good wrestler. Do I think he's a good puncher or kicker? No, not at all, and that's just my opinion. To me, he's like a heavyweight. He's 6'4, he's very athletic and very strong. Is he a better fighter than Lyoto? No. Not even close. But that doesn't mean he can't win."

Seagal is closely linked to middleweight champion Anderson Silva and Machida, who was submitted by Jones at UFC 140.

He tends to creep in from time to time and give the fighters "words of wisdom," while also demonstrating a plethora of different ways to land a front kick.

It's interesting Seagal would call out Jones' striking technique. At only 24 years of age, Jones has showcased one of the most diverse standup arsenals in MMA history.

Sure, he isn't Anderson Silva on the feet, but who is?

Jones has looked surgical in the standup against some of the light heavyweight division's best including Mauricio "Shogun" Rua, Quinton "Rampage" Jackson and, most recently, Rashad Evans.

Despite his personal disdain for Jones, Evans has even gone on record to admit that Jones' creativity makes him an incredibly tough puzzle to solve.

"That's what Jon does really good. He makes fighters think," Evans said at the pre-fight press conference for UFC 145. "When you make a fighter think, that's when you're able to attack. He gets guys thinking, gets them puzzled, and then he's able to do his game plan and gets them doing whatever he wants to do."

Perhaps, Seagal is still upset with Jones about the locker room incident in September 2011 at UFC 135.

Jones, who was preparing to defend his UFC title for the first time against Rampage, turned down an offer to speak with Seagal before his bout.

It really didn't make any sense. Why go over game plans with a guy who already coaches a perennial contender in Machida?

Jones spoke with Jim Rome on "The Jim Rome Show" about his "strange" run in with Seagal.

"I'm not sure how he got my [phone] number, but he was just like, 'Hey, listen, I think you're gonna win the fight, and when I predict someone is gonna win, I'm never wrong...There are a few things I want to go over with you.' It was all just very strange.

I don't wanna bad mouth him. He had good intentions, I think. But yeah, I definitely wasn't having Steven Seagal in my corner. I could see if it was Jet Li or something. I mean Jet Li would be pretty cool. Yeah, I'd definitely take that meeting."

Seagal's view of Jones not being able to punch or kick well is incredibly distorted. Has he seen the rest of Jones' fights, or is he merely basing his entire assumption on the Machida bout?

Machida looked to be the more effective striker against Jones in the first round of their title fight, but his early success had more to do with range than overall striking ability. When it comes to gaging distance and finding range, there are none more effective than Machida and Silva.

The UFC isn't Seagal's playground of students. Machida and Silva were doing big things long before he came along, and they will continue when he's gone. Mr. "Hard to Kill" can't have everything his way.

Besides, a kid at Jones' age would much rather be watching "Romeo Must Die."