Jean-Claude Van Damme says Steven Seagal once passed on a $20M payday to fight him

Action icon Jean-Claude Van Damme says Steven Seagal once refused to fight him in Las Vagas with $20M on the line.

Jean-Claude Van Damme, Steven Seagal, fight

Welcome to the jungle, folks! While some action stars like Sylvester Stallone and Arnold Schwarzenegger delight in supporting one another along their respective journies throughout life and the entertainment industry, some discover there’s nowhere to run regarding the judgment of their peers. Unlike Sly and Arnie, Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal have a long-running feud. Arguments can support that either star is the perfect weapon, but only one turned down $20M to fight the other, Van Damme says.

Speaking with The Telegraph, Van Damme told the outlet that film producer and executive Peter Guber once wanted to promote a fight between Van Damme and Seagal with a $20M payday.

“They were having an idea to have a fight between me and Steven at The Mirage [in Las Vegas],” Van Damme told the U.K.-based publication. “Twenty million each. He didn’t take the fight.”

How did the flight of fury begin between Van Damme and Seagal? According to reports, Seagal said in the 1990s, he “doubted Van Damme’s legitimate fighting credentials.” The two haven’t seen eye-to-eye since, leading to several rumors and tall tales throughout their careers. Van Damme says he doesn’t understand why Seagal doesn’t think much of him. Still, he’s never pressed the matter, unsure what it would yield.

Continuing to talk about Seagal, Van Damme paid the martial arts actor a few compliments, saying, “The first movie I saw of his, I said, ‘This guy’s going to make it, he’s very charismatic.'” he said of Seagal’s cinematic presence. “Even now, with his overweight years, he’s got this Steven Seagal way of talking.”

How does Van Damme think a fight with Seagal would play out? The Bloodsport and Cyborg actor painted a picture for The Independent, saying, “If him and I fight, I run faster than him – much faster,” he told the outlet. “I would run away. He’s going to try to catch me, he’s going to get out of shape. I come back and fight. Do you like the technique?”

Who would win in a fight between Jean-Claude Van Damme and Steven Seagal? Place your bets in the comments section below!

Source: The Telegraph

About the Author

Born and raised in New York, then immigrated to Canada, Steve Seigh has been a editor, columnist, and critic since 2012. He started with Ink & Pixel, a column celebrating the magic and evolution of animation, before launching the companion YouTube series Animation Movies Revisited. He's also the host of the Talking Comics Podcast, a personality-driven audio show focusing on comic books, film, music, and more. You'll rarely catch him without headphones on his head and pancakes on his breath.