Steven Seagal (Pictured) may have been in the house at UFC 135 on Saturday, but one place he wasn’t was Jon Jones’ locker room. Although Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida credited the 59-year-old martial arts legend with helping them perfect their highlight-reel front kicks, the reigning light heavyweight champ turned down the opportunity to meet with Seagal before his bout with Quinton “Rampage” Jackson.
“He called me a few days before the fight and he just told me that he felt I was going to win the fight and that he saw a lot in my skill set and he thought that he could help, and he wondered if he could come and talk to me backstage before the fight and just kind of give me some more words of encouragement,” Jones shared at the post-fight press conference.
While “Bones” was flattered by the offer, he decided to deny Seagal the one-on-one time. Jones felt that if he was going to post his first successful title defense, he wanted to ensure the right people were credited for their work with him.
“I didn’t think that would be a good idea,” Jones added. “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.”
Mike Winkeljohn and Phil Nurse have extensively tutored Jones in his standup game over the last several years, while MMA guru Greg Jackson has masterminded Jones’ overall development.
The actor who starred in cult classics like “Out for Justice” and “Under Siege” is currently a 7th dan degree and Shihan in Aikido. Seagal moved to Japan in his late teens and became the first foreigner to operate an Aikido dojo in the country.