Putin is friendly with former heavyweight boxing champ and current Duma member Nikolai Valuev in his entourage (on far left):
Here's Putin with Russian super heavyweight wrestling champ Aleksandr Karelin:
Putin with heavyweight boxing champ Wladimir Klitschko (on left):
Putin's favorite seems to be Fedor Emelianenko, the great heavyweight mixed martial artist, seen above at right and below, next to Putin (Karelin is at far right):
Putin has attended several of Emelianenko's fights, and often gets into the ring and gives a speech afterwards:
It's easy to understand why Putin likes these men. The acromegalic Valuev looks like a movie monster, but is in fact a soft-spoken, thoughtful guy, as this interview shows.
Karelin was for many years the pride of Russia, the personification of the Russian bear.
Emelianenko is widely regarded as the greatest mixed martial artist of all time. He often overwhelmed larger and stronger opponents through sheer aggression, and was stoic in both victory and, toward the end of his career, in defeat. He is deeply religious, and humble. He has been married three times, but the first and third marriages were to the same woman.
It's a little harder to understand why Putin would have befriended Steven Seagal, but he has, even offering Seagal Russian citizenship recently (at Seagal's request):
It's also a little mystifying that Putin would become friends with Jean Claude Van Damme:
(Putin must like old martial arts movies. The only guys missing from his entourage are Dolph Lundgren and Chuck Norris.)
Similarly, some of Trump's Cabinet choices seemed to have been picked for their alpha qualities.
For the Department of Defense, retired Marine Corps General James "Mad Dog" Mattis, whose quotes seem to be a pretty big thing on the internet:
For National Security Advisor, retired Army General Michael Flynn:
(I'm not sure how hawkish he is, but he sure looks like a fierce bird of prey.)
For the Homeland Security post, retired Marine Corps General John Kelly:
(He could probably scare away any threats to the homeland with that scowl.)
For Secretary of the Interior, former Seal Team Six Commander Ryan Zinke:
(We need a Secretary of the Interior who can pick off those few pesky remaining buffalo with a single head shot from 500 meters.)
And for Secretary of State, Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson, who has no military pedigree, but nonetheless exudes alpha:
Which brings us back to the two guys this post is really about, Putin and Trump. Both are aggressively heterosexual, and there's probably not even any homoeroticism involved in their choice of companions and coworkers.
It probably has more to do with that atavistic instinct to want fierce warriors on your side, which has been evolutionarily adaptive for most of the past four million years.
But most of it is probably a matter of self-image. Both Putin and Trump like to see themselves as tough guys, and they seem to feel that the machismo of their companions somehow reflects on them.
Is that silly? Of course it is. But, it's also understandable.
Putin's posse has more of a combat arts flavor, whereas Trump's team has a more military cast.
But, Putin and Trump seem predisposed toward liking each other, so it's highly unlikely the two groups would ever have a rumble.
Which is a good thing, foreign policy-wise.