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Armchair Matchmaker: ‘Diaz vs. Daley’ (vs. the UFC) Fantasy Edition

(I’m just saying, it’s a little ironic to wear a ‘Fight for Japan’ patch on your shorts while you’re personally contributing to the agony of Japanese people. Props:

It might be a while before we get to see cross-promotional fights between UFC and Strikeforce talent. But what’s the harm in a little theoretical speculation? For this installment of the Armchair Matchmaker, we decided to pair up Saturday’s winners and losers with the UFC fighters they should face next, if that sort of thing was possible. And even if it’s a completely meaningless exercise, it’s still more interesting than talking about Diaz vs. Woodley and Melendez vs. the winner of Wilcox/Masvidal. (Ugh, reality. So tedious.) Let’s get started…

Nick Diaz: I know Georges St. Pierre is the obvious answer, but then I think about GSP out-wrestling Nick for five rounds and the dream-fight becomes a lot less dreamy. I’d actually be more interested in seeing Diaz try to avenge his 2005 decision loss to Diego Sanchez, another fighter who puts on a thrilling show every time he steps into a cage. Diaz has probably not forgotten his beef with Sanchez, and Diego has actually suggested that the two settle their rivalry as opposing coaches on TUF. Cosigned, homey.

Paul Daley: Jon Fitch, after he heals up. I think getting hugged for another three rounds in the Octagon would be a nice penance for the sucker punch on Koscheck.

Gilbert Melendez: Without question, the winner of Edgar vs. Maynard 3. Guida/Pettis be damned — El Niño is the real heir apparent in the realm of the 155ers. With the exception of Eddie Alvarez, Melendez has already whooped every other lightweight outside of the UFC who’s worth a damn, and we need to see if his #3 ranking is justified.

Gegard Mousasi: I wouldn’t put him against one of the UFC’s wrestling specialists like Ryan Bader or Phil Davis, because I think Sweet Sassy would get King Mo’d again. (Even an off-peak Keith Jardine was able to put him on his back six times, which led to that unfortunate draw.) With Forrest Griffin picking up momentum thanks to consecutive decision victories over Tito Ortiz and Rich Franklin, I’d call Griffin vs. Mousasi a good test for both fighters.

Keith Jardine: Jardine says he’s dropping to middleweight, right? Put him up against Yoshihiro Akiyama, who’s also been struggling as of late. “Sexyama” vs. one of the gnarliest-looking fighters in the world. Put it on a poster, baby!

Shinya Aoki: BJ Penn. Remember when those two were widely considered to be the #1 and #2 lightweights in the world? Times have changed, but it would still be a badass matchup — and the Prodigy is spinning his wheels at welterweight anyway.

Tatsuya Kawajiri, Lyle Beerbohm: Even as a make-believe matchmaker, I’m having a hard time figuring out how these guys would fit in into an already over-crowded UFC lightweight division. But since Takanori Gomi is still hanging around the Octagon, I’d say let him and Kawajiri re-do their classic battle from Pride Bushido 9. As for Beerbohm…Kurt Pellegrino, maybe? Who knows. That’s the best you’re going to get from me right now. If you have any better ideas, please share them.

Cagepotato Comments

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Jonny5- April 12, 2011 at 12:49 am
Nick Diaz. --- Champion, on a win streak, and just beat Daley. Kampmann. --- Just lost and got whooped by Daley. Dont get me wrong he's still top 15 in the world at WW but no way should the Dane get to fight Diaz next. WAR DIAZ!!!
SnackDaddy- April 11, 2011 at 11:44 pm
Kampman's loss to Shields was very close. And i don't think he lost at all against Diago Sanchez. It'll be a close fight, that's for sure. A good fealer for Diaz. If he wins convincingly, give him GSP. If he struggles, let him go through Fitch or Alves first.
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Jonny5- April 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm
@SNACKDADDY ... Fitch and Alves too much still, I stand by B.J. Penn next to test Diaz next but yeah even Fitch and Alves is less insane than GSP right now. Kampman really??? The same Dane who lost 3 of his last 5, 2 of which were against Daley and Sanchez who Diaz could probably whoop up on.
fatbellyfrank- April 11, 2011 at 10:47 pm
Diaz v's Sanchez, and give em knives and baseball bats
SnackDaddy- April 11, 2011 at 10:33 pm
Hell, i bet Kampman can take Diaz out.
SnackDaddy- April 11, 2011 at 10:32 pm
You guys are mad for thinking Nick Diaz can survive five rounds with GSP. GSP is too much of a perfectionist and Diaz is too much of a hothead. Diaz would be down and out by round three.
There are many more 170 pounders i'd like to see Diaz be tested against first. Like Thiago Alves and John Fitch.
Jonny5- April 11, 2011 at 10:14 pm
Oh yeah Kawajiri vs Sherk or Pettis next to give one of them a nice W... lol
Jonny5- April 11, 2011 at 10:13 pm
Diaz should get B.J. Penn next to set him up for a future fight possibly with GSP. Daley get Fitch after a loss??? You really don't like ole' Fitch here. Gilbert Melendez vs. LW champ, agreed and co-signed by J5. Gegard, I say Rich Franklin or Matt Hamill type (would also include a T. Silva here but being suspended for a year kinda of nixes that). Dean of Mean and Beerbohm, who cares really?? Shinya Aoki, I would love to see fight the loser of Edgar vs. Maynard 3 to possibly put him right behind Melendez again. These are my thoughts now feel free to rip into them.
XxStifflerxX- April 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm
Aoki vs George Sotiropoulos to avenge that kick in the nuts!
ghostboner- April 11, 2011 at 5:25 pm
How about Melendez fights the loser of Guida vs pettis. Then we will know if he is really #3, and deserving of a title shot. Or Melendez vs Ben Henderson.
I like B.J vs Aoki. I've wanted to see BJ kick his ass for a while.
RwilsonR- April 11, 2011 at 4:02 pm
@ snitches - agreed. I'm with you - I want to see if Diaz has evolved that part of his game, and see him tested where SF hasn't tested him. Just my opinion he hasn't evolved in that area, but I'd like to find out.
@ charliemurphy - Yeah, exactly. They might as well not have a designated weight class for it. Although they should still withhold 20% just for other anticipated fouls during or after the match. Would make for good fights, though.
Dynamo- April 11, 2011 at 3:17 pm
LOL good luck getting Nick to do anything related to TUF. They can't even get him on a conference call.
blackboxmma- April 11, 2011 at 3:13 pm
I dont like the Diego fight. Its the type of fight where they kill each other and are both never the same fighters again
Snitches_get_stitches- April 11, 2011 at 3:09 pm
@RwilsonR, agreed Diaz has struggled against those fellows, but he's come along way since 2007.. MMA is such an "in the moment" sport, one day your hot, the next, not so much. I'm just curious to see what he could actually do against a Kos/Fitch/(insert wrestler here) and keep this momentum going. Tyrone Woodley, more then likely his next opponent, should bring what were looking for in a wrestler though..
Nut Puncher 9000- April 11, 2011 at 3:07 pm
Daley - Hardy OBVIOUSLY
Diaz - GSP, contrary to what everyone seems to think, GSP would not breeze through Diaz. He might hold him down, but he might also get submitted.
Melendez - Edgar/Maynard, winner fights Guida/Pettis and everything is worked out
Aoki - BJ Penn. Yep
charliemurphy- April 11, 2011 at 2:30 pm
Paul Daley – Anthony Johnson or Thiago Alves?
Might as well take 20% of their purse right now.
FeelDaRiddum- April 11, 2011 at 1:55 pm
@RwilsonR you are correct sir
El Guapo- April 11, 2011 at 1:49 pm
^2 day hangover not withstanding and sorry for yelling.
El Guapo- April 11, 2011 at 1:48 pm
So many good potential matches, so little time. GSP vs Diaz and Baby J vs Aoki would be my picks, tho..

But mostly I'd just like say I went to the fights this past weekend and had A FUCKIN BLAST! THEY WERE THE SHIT!!
LOKI- April 11, 2011 at 1:46 pm
Sexyama, Vitor, or Wanderlei vs Cung Li...I dont like Cung Li
Joe Rogan vs Gus Johnson...I also dont like Gus Johnson
PERPATRAITOR- April 11, 2011 at 1:38 pm
Sanchez vs Diaz II I've been preaching about for a year now. That fight changed their lives forever, let's do it again! Nate Diaz vs Aoki :). I think he'd get tooled real hard. Melendez is easy to match up, I think guida allows the best fights because he's just crazy out there. Melendez can hold that pace. Souza vs Silva honestly isn't that bad either. I think Tim Kennedy would do well against him also. BJ vs Aoki sounds epic too.
Dog Dicks Magoo- April 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm
My cock vs. Diaz's face. Death match in the cock-to-gon. 209 is going to smoke something else this time.
RwilsonR- April 11, 2011 at 1:36 pm
@ Snitches - Diaz has always struggled with guys with good top control. Karo, Diego, and Sherk showed that. His BJJ is good enough to stop him from getting put away, but not good enough to submit a decent grappler who is on top of him. Unfortunately, he hasn't been tested that way since, so I have no reason to believe he has grown much in that area. UD loss every time to Kos, Fitch, or GSP.
rcj5019- April 11, 2011 at 1:19 pm
Diaz vs GSP just so I can see how GSP reacting to the crazy bastard pre fight interviews and build up to the fight.