Morning Report: Frankie Edgar predicts 'whole package' Chris Weidman will defeat Anderson Silva

Esther Lin, MMA Fighting

We have a ton of MMA goodness to get to today, but before we rush into things, let's take a moment for a quick hitter.

Not too long ago UFC President Dana White declared that most fighters were predicting Chris Weidman to upset Anderson Silva. It's a preposterous statement, but lately it seems like he might be on to something, because wouldn't you know it, Frankie Edgar just jumped aboard the Weidman bandwagon.

"Gotta go with the East Coast boy Weidman. He's the whole package," Edgar wrote on a UFC.com fan chat when asked about UFC 162's main event. "Anderson has fought good wrestlers, but Chris has got great jiu-jitsu and a solid standup game as well."

In unrelated news, Silva apparently bailed on practice yesterday, visibly upset after accidently destroying a sparring partner with a high kick. Needless to say, Weidman has his work cut out for him.

Now, let's stop messing around and get to the goods with some headlines.

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5 MUST-READ STORIES

Lawal, Noe advance. Muhammed "King Mo" Lawal smashed Seth Petruzelli 1:35 into the first frame, while Jacob Noe stunned Renato "Babalu" Sobral with a third-round TKO at Bellator 96. Both men are now set to square off in the finals of Bellator's 2013 Summer Series light heavyweight tournament. For more, check out a complete set of gifs from the event.

Sobral retires. Following his loss on Wednesday night, Renato "Babalu" Sobral announced his retirement from mixed martial arts. A former Strikeforce champion, Sobral ends his career holding a record of 37-11, with notable victories over Chael Sonnen, Mauricio 'Shogun' Rua, Robbie Lawler and Maurice Smith.

No MMA in NY this year. According to local news outlets, State Assembly speaker Sheldon Silver "once again tabled the bill" to legalize mixed martial arts in the state of New York, "denying it a chance for a full vote on the floor before the current Assembly session ends on Thursday."

Irvin hit with tax lien. The United States of America government reportedly hit BJJ instructor Lloyd Irvin with a $1,021,440.68 tax lien earlier this week. Irvin has come under fire for numerous accusations of coercion and sexually inappropriate behavior thus far in 2013.

Pettis update. Injured UFC contender Anthony Pettis expects to be out of action for at least six weeks due to his torn meniscus, rendering his bid to fight Benson Henderson on Aug. 31 in Milwaukee null and void.

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MEDIA STEW

In case you missed it last night, check out King Mo vs. Seth Petruzelli. (Now with Portuguese commentary!)

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Pat Barry better watch out. Rose got dat spinning heel kick in her back pocket.

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Okay, Dr. Robert Klapper is probably the best name I've heard all week. Sounds like a villain straight out of a dystopian, 1984-style novel.

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This Buffalo Wild Wings charged a cover to see UFC 161. Apparently people didn't like that. The lesson: Eh, I'm really not too sure. Maybe, women screaming automatically ratchets up the intensity of any situation? Yeah, let's go with that.

(HT: MMA Mania)

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Between the sound effects, brutal knockout, and music reminiscent of F-Zero X, I honestly can't decide what I like best about this clip.

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Take Real Steel, condense it down to two minutes and give Hugh Jackman a mohawk. What do you get? The MMA of the future, ladies and gentlemen.

(HT: MiddleEasy)

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God DAMNIT. I hate that bug.

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ASKREN IS NOT IMPRESSED

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PROBABLY NOT A GOOD SIGN

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R.I.P.

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170'S NEW MONSTER

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HOLLYWOOD DREAMS, PT. 1

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HOLLYWOOD DREAMS, PT. 2

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FIGHT ANNOUNCEMENTS

Announced yesterday (Wednesday, June 19, 2013):

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FANPOST OF THE DAY

Today's Fanpost of the Day sees Florence Romeo return to us with: New York MMA...Beasts in the Desert...And a Cook Who Fights

At the stroke of midnight in Las Vegas, a black-eyed creature with the legs of a man and the head of a reptile slithers out of its presidential suite on the top floor of Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and jumps 200 feet onto South Commerce Street...pausing briefly to cackle at a connecting avenue called West New York, then sprints over the concrete...toward the Strip, licking his lips with greed, drooling behind the dank alleys of Las Vegas Boulevard and attempting frantically to recall which building held the office of the Ultimate Fighting Championships.

Oh, but who are we kidding? - the President of the Culinary Workers Union in Las Vegas, Ted Pappageorge, would never act that strange. Never! At least not on the night prior to a crucial vote on the legalization of mixed martial arts in New York. But how would the citizens of New York react if they only knew that the news of New York state assembly tabling the legalization of MMA for a fourth year, was solely due to the sniveling agenda of Pappageorge, and his minions on the executive board?

Unfortunately, their reaction would seemingly be like the rest of the MMA community: confusion. How does a culinary union in Las Vegas control New York citizen's rights to watch a sport? What world are we living in, here? Have we all devolved back in snarling primordial beasts?

Well, it appears, without contact with the culinary union, that since Lorenzo and Frank Fertitta's company Station Casinos employs non-union workers, the Las Vegas culinary union sought revenge years ago. And in their attempt, they have coerced several politicians in New York to uphold the ban on MMA.

Anyone else confused?

Well there is no clear cut answer. Because, despite UFC President Dana White's constant promise on the legalization, 40 out of 104 Assembly Democrats opposed the bill. The bill had 64 co-sponsors.

But instead of directing our anger and confusion toward the UFC or even Dana White, we should investigate New York's legal system. What is the correlation between Culinary Workers Union Local 226 and New York politicians?Are the politicians voting on merit or out of bribe? How is this sort of blatant corruption legal?

My goodness, we shouldn't feel enraged as MMA fans, but as citizens of the United States!

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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