Morning Report: Anderson Silva claims to have been unaware of missed UFC 162 media tour in L.A.

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

UFC middleweight kingpin Anderson Silva shelled out $50,000 to the UFC for a missed media tour in Los Angeles, CA earlier this week, but according to the champ, it wasn't on purpose.

On Tuesday, Silva told Brazilian media outlet Veja that he was unaware of his media obligations, blaming his absence on a "miscommunication" which he refused to specify.

"I never missed any commitment to the UFC (in the past)," Silva said (roughly translated via Google Translate). "[I'd] never plan a trip to Brazil if I knew I should be in Los Angeles. Everyone knows that I always lock my media schedule to devote myself to training, they are my priority. I am an athlete and my focus will always be to train and be prepared for the challenges."

No word yet if Silva released video of his explanation via a self-recorded in-car message that includes a few choice words towards some poor driver's mother. We can only hope. And with that, let's get to today's headlines.

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8 MUST-READ STORIES

Carwin retires. Former UFC interim heavyweight champion Shane Carwin ended his two-year struggle to return to the cage, announcing his retirement from the sport of mixed martial arts. Carwin retires at the age of 38 with an MMA record of 12-2, having finished all 12 of his victories via first-round knockout (7) or submission (5).

Silva, Weidman weigh in on UFC fine. UFC middleweight champion Anderson Silva told Brazilian media outlet Veja he accidentally missed Tuesday's L.A. media tour for UFC 162 due to a "miscommunication." Meanwhile Chris Weidman, who underwent a similar media tour in Las Vegas, said this about Silva's gaffe: "I hope his head isn't getting so big that he thinks he doesn't have to do things for the UFC, but who am I to judge? ... If his head is really getting too big, I'm definitely going to bring him down to earth on July 6."

Sylvia back for ONE FC. Former UFC heavyweight champion Tim Sylvia returns to action to battle American prospect Tony Johnson at ONE FC: Rise to Power on May 31 in Manila.

Belfort talks TRT, Rockhold. The old lion Vitor Belfort discussed his usage of TRT, explained why he doesn't believe the criticism is justified, and issued some strong words for his upcoming opponent, Luke Rockhold.

UFC point deductions. The folks at MMA Decisions dug through their record books to compile an intriguing, albiet brief, history of UFC point deductions in decisions.

Spong set for GLORY 9. Kickboxing superstar Tyrone Spong joins Brian Collette, Danyo Ilunga, Filip Verlinden, Mourad Bouzidi, Steve McKinnon, Koichi and UFC veteran Dustin Jacoby in GLORY's upcoming eight-man, one-night light heavyweight tournament on June 22 in New York City.

UFC lands U.K. TV deal. The UFC inked a three-year broadcast contract with U.K. conglomerate BT Group. The deal will "offer comprehensive coverage of the UFC, including programming specifically produced for U.K. and Irish audiences, on the soon-to-be-launched BT Sport," and will likely result in an increase of UFC events held inside the U.K.

Pacquiao vs. Rios. Boxing superstar Manny Pacquiao looks to rebound from the first two-fight losing streak of his career when he returns to the ring against Brandon Rios on November 23 in Macau, China.

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MEDIA STEW

Check out the lastest from Esther Lin's superb Focus series:

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Sure, the Octagon jitters are real, but I'm not sure it's fair to attribute Cung Le's debut loss to them. That was just vintage Wanderlei.

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Normally I'd tell you to skip right to the sick KO, but this regional heavyweight championship is just wild and sloppy enough to be a ton of fun. (Fight starts around 1:15.)

(HT: MiddleEasy)

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Gruesome eye injuries and Explosions in the Sky? Couldn't ask for more from an intro to a video blog.

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I could do without the Limp Bizkit, but goddamn, this guy could punch.

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GOODBYE, BIG FELLA

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A BIG COUNTRY SENDOFF (CLICK THE FACEBOOK LINK)

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HEALED BONES

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SUBTLE

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FOR THE CRITICS

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MAKING NICE

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AIN'T NOBDOY GOT TIME FOR LEG DAY

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Tuesday, May 6, 2013):

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day comes to us from bigGcastle, who writes: Nearing the end of an MMA bill in New York for 2013; A look into major player Sheldon Silver

This time last year, the effort to legalize Mixed Martial Arts in New York died, once again, in the New York State Assembly. With a similar result expected this year, let's breakdown how it all went down in 2012 and look a bit deeper into Sheldon Silver, a major player who single-handedly has prevented the legalization of MMA in New York.

In 2012, as expected, the MMA bill moved easily through the New York State Senate committees and was then brought to the floor for a vote where it passed, decisively, 43 votes to 14. The bill then made its way to its first committee in the Assembly: Tourism, Parks, Arts and Sports Development. It never made it out of this committee because the Speaker of the Assembly, Sheldon Silver, held a closed door meeting among democrats, who hold the majority, to determine if the bill had enough support to actually pass if it ended up reaching the floor for a vote. Well, through a very informal and questionable process involving people raising their hands, he decided that the bill just didn't have a legitimate chance. And that was the end of any chance of professional MMA in New York for 2012. It was also the last time we'd see outspoken MMA opponent Assemblyman Bob Reilly, who did not seek reelection later that year.

Now, something from all that might bug you, or at least it bugged me. But it doesn't seem very democratic that one guy (Silver) can just simply decide that a bill won't come to a vote. I understand the vetting process and managing the large amount of bills that get proposed, but this particular bill sailed through the Senate and had strong support in the assembly and makes you wonder if there wasn't some outside influence. In any event, let's take a look at what makes Sheldon Silver so powerful.

Sheldon Silver has been the Speaker of the New York State Assembly since 1994. This is the highest position one can hold in the Assembly. The speaker "assigns the heads of committees, selects their staffs, fills committee vacancies, dispenses political favors." He's garnered power over the years through loyalty, but he's also earned enemies. Some of these enemies tried to oust him in 2000. Being Speaker also means being chairman of the Rules committee which also has a lot of power. It's the last committee a bill goes through before going to a vote and it manages the flow of legislation. Here's a bit from a credible source describing this more:

"Another symbol of party status is membership on the rules committees of each house. The rules committees, in theory, schedule the business of the legislature. By formal rule, indeed, no bill can go to the floor in the final weeks of the session without first getting special permission from the committee on rules."

Some say this power is too much, that "he wields life-or-death power over almost every bill." If he doesn't like a bill then that's it, it's finished. Looking back at last year, it seems pretty clear he didn't like the MMA bill. But now let's see what's going on this year.

So far this year, we are seeing much of the same but with a bit more support. The bill sailed through the State Senate with 47 votes against 15. In the Assembly the bill has 64 sponsors (48 democrats), 12 short of the 76 votes needed to pass it. The Assembly has 150 members, 105 of whom are democrats. The bill is just sitting in the Assembly's Tourism, Arts, Parks and Sports Development Committee, but the committee chair is expected to meet with the bill's main sponsor this week. Unfortunately, the bill was not included in this year's budget which has made many people skeptical of it being passed in the Assembly.

What really stands out to me this year is that in a 150 member Assembly, where 76 votes are needed to pass legislation, this bill has 64 sponsors! It's just hard to believe they can't secure 12 votes and is why I believe Sheldon Silver is the main crux in all of this. Let's see if he decides to prevent it from coming to a vote again.

Found something you'd like to see in the Morning Report? Just hit me on Twitter @shaunalshatti and we'll include it in tomorrow's column.

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