"I'm looking forward to a bunch of the greatest fighters in the world pitting their skills against each other and trying to see who comes out on top.... If I had to choose anybody today [as a "Fighter of the Year"] I'd pick Daniel Cormier because I think he is the best out of that lot. He's the guy and maybe going to be working with him a little bit. We'll see. I think he's kind of the person not everyone knows about, but he's a "sleeper," you know? And that's going to be interesting. I'm not going to say anything more than that. I'll just say he's a friend of mine ... that's all."
-- Training "consultant" to many of today's most successful Brazilian mixed martial arts (MMA) stars, Steven Seagal, is looking forward to turning his attention to an American "sleeper" in San Jose, Calif., in the New Year. The aging former Hollywood action film star, who has worked with the likes of Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) Middleweight Champion Anderson Silva and Lyoto Machida, among others, is now interested in helping out Strikeforce Heavyweight grand prix winner, Daniel Cormier, as "DC" transitions to the Octagon. Seagal was recently in attendance at the Fighters Only World MMA Awards on Jan. 11, 2013, which took place at "The Joint" at the Hard Rock Hotel in Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada, sharing his opinion on the 2012 "Fighter of the Year." Despite a field that included Nate Diaz, Ben Henderson, Ronda Rousey and eventual award-winner UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Jon Jones, Seagal pointed to Cormier as the hidden gem. In addition, he claims that he intends to possibly augment his training at American Kickboxing Academy (AKA) as Cormier -- who is fresh off a technical knockout finish of Dion Staring last night (Jan. 12, 2013) at Strikeforce: "Marquardt vs. Saffiedine" (watch fight video highlights here) -- prepares to make his Octagon debut in the near future, quite possibly opposite Frank Mir. Anyone think "Nico" can make a difference in the MMA game of Cormier or is Seagal simply looking to ride the coattails of perhaps a future UFC champion? To check out the full list of winners from the annual year-end World MMA Awards click here.