Morning Report: If Nick Diaz can 'stay off the pipe', Ben Askren willing to fight him

Suhaimi Abdullah

They're in different organizations and places in their career, but if there's one thing MMA fans love to do it's fantasy match make.

Former Bellator welterweight champion and current ONE FC welterweight Ben Askren was on the MMA Roasted podcast recently. When asked about a potential bout with now 'retired' Nick Diaz, Askren was all to happy to accept the challenge and even managed to throw in a few verbal jabs at Diaz's ability.

"Diaz, man he ain't even fighting no more, why would I talk about me against someone who's retired?," Askren said. "Well, if Nick Diaz can stay off the pipe, maybe I'll fight him. He's like taking down a wet paper bag. I don't think I'd have much trouble. He'd probably be flipping me off and shit, but I'll just smile at him."

Regretfully, the two won't be fighting any time soon. Askren is tied to fighting in ONE FC and Diaz, even if he wasn't retired, would be locked to fighting those challengers UFC could find for UFC-purposes only. Still, one wonders about the match-up. Askren likely would be able to take Diaz down, but what would happen from there?

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Tyron Woodley 'chokes' in the big fights. So says Dana White after the welterweight's UFC 174 performance.

'The fans lost in that fight'. Once again, UFC President Dana White offers up a fresh dose of candor about how Andrei Arlovski and Brendan Schaub performed on Saturday night.

Brendan Schaub has no facial injuries. Despite having a massively swollen cheek at the end of his bout on Saturday, Schaub says he has no real damage.

Overeem not in a hurry. UFC heavyweight Alistair Overeem wants a return to the Octagon, but won't do it until he's '100 percent' healthy.

Low gate. Of the three trips the UFC has made t Vancouver in its organizational history, UFC 174 was the lowest of them all.

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MEDIA STEW

Johnson vs. Bagautinov highlights:

MacDonald vs. Woodley highlights:

Sara McMann wants a piece of Sarah Kaufman:

Andrei Arlovski vs. Maximus, the dog:

Dr. Don Catlin discusses TRT on Inside MMA:

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TWEETS

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Shaq, the jiu-jitsu man

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For a good cause

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I see what you did there.

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Two of the best, albeit from two different organizations

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That's definitely true

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Pics or it didn't happen

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What am I looking at here?

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Looks modern.

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Ready for war.

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Sure it was a joke. Sure it was.

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Yikes

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Pretty boring game.

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Our FanPost of the Day comes to us from reader 'DaHeadbanger' who recaps the entire UFC 174 card and offers up this analysis of the controversial Brendan Schaub vs. Andrei Arlovski bout:

*Andrei Arlovski defeated Brendan Schaub via Decision

Zzzzzzzzzzzzz... Huh. Oh! You're still there! Sorry. Thinking about this match put me to sleep. Yes, it really was that bad. The majority of pundits agreed that Schaub should have walked out with the victory, but they also agree that if both could have been awarded losses, that course of action would have been more appropriate. The first two rounds had maybe three good strikes throughout and Schaub clearly took the third round with a takedown and some GNP, but the fans had already been lost by that point and no one cared. Dana White said it best when he said the fans were the true losers of this fight.

I will give Arlovski credit in the fact that he admitted that he fought like crap and was highly embarrassed by his performance... but it still doesn't change what happened out there. He also stated that jitters of his return got the best of him. Whatever it was, he can't afford another outing like that... even if he walks out with another miracle win. His punching power should still be there so he should look better next time out now that his re-debut is out of the way.

There seems to be a consensus that Arlovski should get the winner of Stefan Struve and Matt Mitrione next and I can't say that I can think of a better option. Struve is coming off of a long layoff due to a heart ailment and Mitrione is... well, he is Meathead. The only other sound option would be the winner of Soa Palelei and Jared Rosholt... but I agree that Struve and Mitrione make the better option. (Quick side note: I thought maybe Minotauro Nogueira even though he has lost two in a row for the nostalgia factor of two former champions if the UFC will still let him fight... but I would rather not see Nogueira fight anymore)

While I agree that Schaub was right in the fact that he did more to win the fight, to say that he did enough to win would be pushing it to far. In other words, neither of them did enough to win the fight outright. Its hard to consider Schaub a prospect anymore even though he is relatively young by heavyweight standards at 31 as this was his 10th fight in the UFC. He isn't likely to get much better, especially considering his chin hasn't held up well in his tenure. I don't want to throw him too far under the bus though as he is still a solid heavyweight and should hang around for a few more years.

The match for Schaub I'd like to see the most at this point is dependent upon the health Todd Duffee. Duffee hasn't fought in about 18 months with a good chunk of that recovering from Parsonage Turner Syndrome which causes severe pain and numbness in the arm. If Duffee is able to recover quickly, a bout between him and Schaub would be fun with Schaub likely to take a more ground-based approach.

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