ByMatt Juul, writer at
MMA and Entertainment Writer
Matt Juul

Hollywood and the world of mixed martial arts may be at odds since Meryl Streep took a jab at the sport in her 2017 Golden Globes speech, but that didn't stop these enthusiasts from throwing down at a glitzy gala in Los Angeles on Oscars weekend.

According to the Los Angeles Times, actor Steven Seagal was in attendance at the inaugural SMASH Global Pre-Oscar Gala, a charity awards ceremony centered around MMA and action films. The event featured a night of actual cage fights set in a glamorized ballroom as guests munched on a "lavish four-course dinner."

The Times also reported that any mention of Streep's name would bring on a chorus of boos from the pro-MMA crowd, which isn't a huge surprise.

As for Seagal, who received an Icon Award at the ceremony, the action B-movie star weighed in on the Best Picture race, telling the Times that he "liked Hacksaw Ridge quite a bit,” however, he "thought it was a bad year for films" overall.

Seagal, a U.S. and Russian dual citizen and friend of Vladimir Putin, offered his opinion on the controversy surrounding relations between the two countries as well. The actor blamed former President Barack Obama's administration for causing the media frenzy around President Donald Trump's alleged connections with Russia.

“I think it’s coming from Obama and George Soros,” Seagal said. “And I think that we need to be friends with the superpowers when at all possible. I think Russia and America should be brothers. I think we need them and they need us."

In addition to Seagal, the gala featured appearances by Don Wilson, Michael Jai White, Kristanna Loken, Casper Van Dien, former NFL star Shawne Merriman, and heavyweight veteran Josh Barnett.


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