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Steven Seagal vs. Jean-Claude Van Damme

It's Steven Seagal vs. Jean-Claude Van Damme in the ultimate fight of the best action star there ever was!

It’s The Master versus The Muscles from Brussels! Welcome to WatchMojo.com and today we’ll be pitting Steven Seagal against Jean-Claude Van Damme to see which is the greater action star.

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Round 1: Legacy

In the first corner is the ponytail-wearing Steven Seagal. He has given us such romps as Under Siege, Marked for Death, Above the Law, Out for Justice and Hard to Kill. His is famous for playing a cop whose partner has been killed by a drug dealer.

In the other corner is Jean-Claude Van Damme. He has appeared in such popular films as Bloodsport, Hard Target, Kickboxer, Double Impact, Universal Soldier and Time Cop. He has also played cops (Maximum Risk), but made it big by playing underdogs in brutal fighting tournaments.

Over the years, Van Damme has helped pulled in over a billion at the worldwide box office, almost doubling that of Seagal.

They have about the same amount of good and horrible movies under their belts, and while we’d gladly love to award a tie going in, we’d have to say that Van Damme slightly edges out his opponent for having been a more bankable actor with a slightly wider scope of roles.

Seagal 0/ Van Damme 1

Round 2: Combat

Steven Seagal has a 7th dan in Aikido. Jean-Claude Van Damme is proficient in Shotokan Karate, Muay Thai, Kickboxing, and Taekwondo.

When it comes to the fight, Seagal has no issues with playing dirty! He’ll wrap a pool ball in a cloth and use it to knock your teeth out, strike at you with a broken pool cue, or just plain punch you in the junk. He is all about trauma, neutralizing his opponent, and turning their physical strength into a weakness.

Meanwhile, Van Damme is focused on the kicks, and likes to randomly drop down into the splits position during a heated exchange. Unfortunately, his superior strength would be used against him by Seagal, and his attempts to use found objects as weapons has never really worked out anyways.

When the dust clears, Seagal is still standing.

Seagal 1/ Van Damme 1 

Round 3: Physique and Agility

A hulking man of 6'4, Seagal has become known in recent years for his ever increasing circumference.

Forgetting this and focusing on earlier years, we can see that both actors make heavy use stunt doubles. However, look at the way Seagal runs, maybe some more stunt double wouldn’t be such a bad thing?

Overall, Van Damme is simply more agile and capable of incredible physical movements, including his trademark 360-degree spin kick. After all, he did study ballet!

Unfortunately, Seagal simply cannot keep up, as he depends almost entirely on his arms and face to do the talking. Due to this, the point goes to Van Damme, even though he doesn’t seem capable of dancing!

Seagal 1/ Van Damme 2

Round 4: Screen Persona

Both of these actors are less than impressive when scenes require real acting.

However, Segal fills the void with an air of hardcore ego and his own brand of charisma. This includes quite a bit of trash talking through a quiet, yet husky voice. This led to him being hailed as the most gritty and realistic star of the action genre during his heyday.

On the other hand, Van Damme comes off as too polished and well groomed. He’s just too neutral for our liking, despite having the mandatory foreign accent that the genre usually requires.

Point goes to Seagal!

Seagal 2/ Van Damme 2 

Round 5: Later Career and Comeback

These two men were once very bankable actors. Now, they’re either added attractions or headed direct to home video.

Seagal has adjusted to a calmer and more Buddhist-like lifestyle, while teaching martial arts and acting as a deputy sheriff of a Texas border town. When cast, he takes smaller parts, like playing a samurai sword-wielding villain in Machete.

Meanwhile, Van Damme failed to enter the fashion world with a line of Denim clothing. However, he has starred in the well received self-titled film JCVD, several Universal Soldier sequels, provided the voice of Master Croc in Kung Fu Panda 2 and played the bad guy in The Expendables 2.

Seagal may have the more interesting personal life, but Van Damme edges him out for staying slightly more relevant on camera. Maybe we’re overly optimistic, but we sense a career come back as Van Damme appears able to still perform those terrific spin kicks!

Seagal 2/ Van Damme 3

Verdict

Sorry Steven Seagal fans, while the star wins in the combat and Screen Persona categories, he is left wincing in respect to Jean-Claude Van Damme, who claimed a slight victory of 3 to 2.

What do you think, did Van Damme deserve his last minute victory upset?

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