Thursday, 28 March 2013

When Nostalgia Hits

I confess, I am and will forever be a little bit obsessed with animated films. There's something about re-watching the films I grew up with that keeps the child within me free spirited and forever young. Yet the more films I re-watch the more I notice the powerlessness of female characters in comparison to their male counterparts.

It seems as though the previous representations of women or the female in general in the cinematic world is extremely out dated, but has it really changed that much?

Take the much loved Toy Story, the two protagonists are Woody and Buzz, two male characters; the only female character I can recall vividly is Little Bo Peep, the ever feminine female character. Now let's go back further - who remembers The Hunchback of Notre Dame? Esmerelda as empowered as she is, must still be rescued by Quasimodo and Captain Phoebus from the wrath of Claude Frollo.

I recently felt a pang of nostalgia and decided to rekindle my love for the Hunchback only to experience something I can only explain as being a harsh awakening. This movie that I had once loved so much, to the point of breaking the tape in the VCR, (yes, VCR I said it) was not as amazing nor as innocent as I thought it was.


What surprised me most was this obsession with the persecution of Esmerelda, the female protagonist, who drove Frollo to 'sin'. Illustrated as the temptress, the woman who causes men to sin, the only way to avoid persecution was to give herself entirely to Frollo, to become his woman, his possession. So I have to ask - what are these films trying to say?

Perhaps it is that in order to be safe in society a woman must be a possession of the man? This is not helped by the portrayal of the 'damsel in distress' figures we see in films.

Why do we never see heroic female figures in films which are highly influential to young children? Even though modern films such as Tangled, a remake of the famous Rapunzel, depicts the heroine as empowered, she still must be saved essentially by her male counterpart.

We're in an age where women are celebrated with International Women's Week and where a new feminist is born every day. I hope one day I will watch a film where a female protagonist heroically rescues the male in distress from fire breathing dragons and things of a similar nature.

Until then however, I will continue to embrace the child within, in the hope that I don't discover any more distressing facts about some of my much loved childhood films.

By Farah Chowdhury  (@seefaraway)

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

The 20/20 Experience

When I heard Justin Timberlake was back, my heart skipped a beat. Could it be, after all these years, he'd finally returned to make the music that my ears had been missing for so long?

I can forgive him for marrying Jessica Biel, it just wasn't going to work out between us, he's in the States, I'm in the UK, you know how the story goes. But armed with my ticket for Wireless 2013 of which JT is headlining (the Friday for those of you who haven't got your ticket), I couldn't help but feel a bit disappointed in what JT has brought to his fans in The 20/20 Experience.

After years of anticipation, teasing the fans with appearances in several films, I have to admit his new album lacked the soul and real R'n'B feel that I was so hoping for.

Now don't let me misguide you, there are some tracks which I would quite happily listen to on repeat, but after streaming the whole album on iTunes before it went on sale, the general vibe is a little underwhelming.

My favourite tracks from the album would have to be 'Don't Hold the Wall', 'Strawberry Bubblegum' and 'Spaceship Coupe.' The album lacks the return to the days of 'Cry Me A River' from Timberlake's album Justified, and just seems to be much like the generic hip hop songs out at the moment.

My love for JT still remains 'Until the End of Time', despite my disappointment in his album, but if you were to listen to any tracks from The 20/20 Experience, I would highly recommend the three above.

I only hope that come the day of the Wireless festival he indulges the 'Señorita' or indeed señor within us all with a little 'like I love you' and other musical delights.

By Farah Chowdhury  (@seefaraway)

Sunday, 24 March 2013

Byron Hamburgers (Farm Yard Byron)

After seeing this name pop up around London frequently on my travels in the past few months, I was happy to see it open up locally in Finchley Road. It’s been open a while but hadn’t heard too much about it from any friends so I decide to take the dive and check it out first hand. I went there on a Monday night which was rather quiet, but most restaurants are on a Monday. I was a bit thrown by the décor at first, but then the waiter kindly explained that each one of the 30 Byron restaurants in London are designed around a different theme and this particular one was ‘Farmhouse Byron’. Essentially, it was the inside of a cow shed. Not the best image comes to mind when you hear that, but the fact you’re in a barn doesn’t even become an issue once you taste the food.

We ordered:

Tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole
Classic Cheeseburger
Chicken Burger
French fries
Onion rings
Vanilla milk shake
Oreo milk shake
Chocolate brownie with ice cream (for good measure)

Compared to my last post, this is a lot of food I know. But I was hungry and I didn’t expect the burgers to be as big as they were. The burgers were fresh and the cheeseburger was cooked medium rare (as are all their beef burgers unless otherwise requested). All the burgers are served on the soft white buns which make a world of difference compared to the standard McDonalds attempt at a soft bun. The chicken was seasoned perfectly and the combination with spinach and burger sauce gives a surprisingly nice taste combo. The cheeseburger was also tender and tasted great. The fries and onion rings were fried perfectly and tasted awesome. Although, it’s not for the healthy ones out there that’s for certain and the onion rings are pretty heavy so only order those to share. I’d advise just getting one or the other. The milk shakes were also immense, similar to those in Tinsel Town, but probably double the size and served in steel shakers.

The only conceivable let downs were the tortillas and the coleslaw. The coleslaw tasted like a ‘light version’ which is strange seeing as everything else was distinctly American in terms of the fat content. I definitely would not order it again. Also the tortillas came with barely enough salsa or guacamole. And the salsa was more like chopped tomatoes rather than actual salsa. But then again you can’t really fault a burger place for not having good Mexican appetisers can you?

The brownie was a push, but I did it for you guys. I had to find out if the desserts were as good as the mains! The brownie was brilliant. Just warm enough and just the right amount of sweetness so it  wasn’t too sickly. It wasn’t doughy or stodgy either which is often the case with over indulgent brownies. Not that I’m an expert or anything…

This is definitely a place I’ll be visiting more often, but at £45 for two people it’s a bit on the expensive side for a burger, but the quality is awesome and under most circumstances, you don't need as much as we ordered! 

By Viren Samani (@VirenSamani1) 

Monday, 18 March 2013

Tokyo Diner

This little restaurant is based in the heart of London’s Chinatown but provides some of the best (and cheapest) Japanese food around town. Designed in a traditionally Japanese fashion, with sliding doors and fabric hangings, this place feels homely and makes you feel like you’re actually sitting down for dinner in Tokyo.

I went on a Thursday night and it was packed. I generally hate waiting for food so I was almost put off when I was told we would have to join the queue to be seated. Nevertheless, it was only a 10 minute wait and we were quickly taken to the bottom floor of the restaurant. Note: This restaurant has three floors so you won’t ever be waiting too long.

We sat down at a table with deceivingly low chairs at first glance; another reminder of how traditional the restaurant is. Everything from the seats to the tiles on the wall has been carefully chosen to add to the Japanese experience by the looks of it.

When you first sit down, you get complimentary green tea and Japanese rice crackers which I thought was a nice touch as very few restaurants opt for this sort of service anymore.  Once we got the menu I started flicking through and was surprised again by something different; they had written in brief descriptions of the food and the particular dishes’ history which I thought was really cool. 

Anyways down to the important stuff, the order:

Agadeshi Tofu
Tofu donburi
Chicken Katsu curry

Now, I know this isn’t a lot, but the waitress assured me it was enough, she also told me that larger portions were free so I could ask for more rice at any point if I wasn’t full. If free rice doesn’t sound like a good deal to you, I don’t know what does. When the food came, it was brilliant. The Agadeshi tofu was perfectly crisp on the outside and soft of the inside as it’s traditionally done in Japan. The tofu donburi was a tofu fillet fried in panko breadcrumbs and served on a bed of rice with a plum sauce. The katsu curry was huge, served with both rice and salad. Both dishes tasted great and I haven’t had a katsu curry or tofu like that since I was in Japan a few years ago. For this sort of quality and service, you would generally expect to pay top dollar, especially in a central London restaurant. But not this place, the prices are extremely reasonable and we only paid £21 for two people! On top of that, again in true Japanese fashion, they don’t accept TIPS! That’s right, they do not allow you to give tips and any money which is left behind by accident is donated to charity. All they ask is that you come back and tell your friends, so I guess in a way, this is my tip.

This isn’t the restaurant you go to trying to impress someone, but it is a dig which should be part of every foodie’s cheap- but- quality eateries list. If you’re in the area definitely check it out and let us know what you think! 

By Viren Samani (@VirenSamani1)



I got the chance to see this show on Thursday and I have one word to describe it. Incredible!

Before going to see it, I had no idea what it was, as my girlfriend had booked these tickets on a whim and simply told me to be at Leicester Square at 6pm. Upon entering the theatre there was a Japanese man dressed like a rather large cigarette walking through the crowd greeting people and attempting to shake everyone’s hand. Of course, my first reaction was to look at my lady friend and say “wtf is this?” Either way, we took our seats and waited for the oversized cigarette to finish his rounds. In the back of my mind, I thought it was honourable that one of the performers came out and greeted the audience but I couldn’t help but feel that the large cigarette outfit was a bit strange, little did I know that it was a pre cursor for the show I was about to witness. In any case, the music began and if you had been there, even you would have felt like you had walked into a techno rave where everyone was popping ecstasy like it was skittles. Needless to say this wasn’t really my type of scene so I started to hope that the whole show wasn’t going to be like this.

Nevertheless, I stopped looking around hoping that I could find some other stranger to exchange a glance of mutual bewilderment with, and started to focus on the actual performers and what they were doing. Slowly, I started to understand that all their actions where movements to the seemingly random beat of electro pop. There were 4 main performers with 2 DJ’s on stage. The real ‘buy in’ moment, when I started to truly appreciate the show, came when 3 of the performers started playing Super Mario with projected images on boxes. Growing up with Super Nintendo and the ever great N64, it struck a sentimental nerve. I know this explanation isn’t very clear, but it’s simply the best one that I can give for how amazing this small part of the performance was.

I don’t want to give away too much, because this show was literally one of the best shows I’ve seen. Simply put, it’s a melting pot between STOMP! and the Blue man group. Mainly based around advanced projected visuals supported by eclectic music, the performers also use dance and comedy to create a show which is awesome. At some points, the illusions became so vivid and intense that I wasn’t sure what was real and what was an image. It’s extremely difficult to describe, but if you like being amazed at the true talent and ability of human beings this show is for you. If you opt to go in high, it might literally be mind blowing, or “mind blasting” as Russell peters would say, but seeing as the visualisations are extremely realistic, I wouldn’t advise it as you might just end up on the wildest trip of your life!

At 60 minutes long, it would seem it’s on the short side for a show but trust me, once you see how amazing this production is, you’ll understand that it’s the perfect length and it doesn’t drag at any point. It’s extremely inexpensive with tickets currently £12 on A real bargain, when you consider you pay that much for a cinema ticket in London these days. This is perfect for a first date as it will surely impress your date and leave you guys talking about the show. These guys have even performed at ‘TED x Tokyo’ and I’ve put that video in after the jump for you all to get a taste of it. Although, in my opinion, the video doesn’t do it justice and only gives a snap shot of what’s on offer. Check it out and let us know what you think! P.s if you want to make this a whole Japan themed evening, there’s a great little restaurant called Tokyo Diner by the theatre which I’ve also reviewed in the Food section! 

By Viren Samani (@VirenSamani1)

Friday, 15 March 2013

Good vs Bad: UFC 158


So this week has seen the media circus of the UFC land in Montreal, to promote the huge welterweight title fight of Georges St. Pierre against the bad boy from Stockton, California, Nick Diaz.

Both of these fighters are superb talents, and I truly mean that, but one hand, you have the company's white knight, in GSP, and the rebel without a cause on the other, in Nick Diaz.

The UFC, have found Nick Diaz to be unbearably hard to deal with in terms of doing extra curricular activities for the company, if you will. Firstly, he apparently missed the taping of his UFC Countdown segment, costing the company a reported $50,000 in equipment and personnel, for no reason. Although they did eventually get it taped. Dana said after this that Nick would be in big trouble if he pulled another stunt like this again before the fight.

Fast forward to Wednesday 13th March 2013, and the UFC is in Montreal doing an open workout for the media to cover. One problem. Nick Diaz is once again, nowhere to be seen.

Dana White stated the following about this matter:
"I literally just found out Nick Diaz did not show up for the open workouts today in Montreal....Let me tell you what, there is no shtick with this kid, I mean it's - he's just a different animal man, he's absolutely hard to deal with. If Diaz wins, you know, we are seriously going to have to have a ‘come to Jesus meeting,' you know what I mean? The guy is very, very hard to deal with, we'll see what happens. I got to tell you this, though, I leave tonight for Montreal. The press conference is tomorrow, I'm excited for the press conference and I'm definitely excited for the weigh-ins 'cause, you never know what you're going to get. Well, let me tell you what, if he does not show up tomorrow for the press conference, it is not going to be good. I don't know what I'll say or what I'm going to do, but I'll tell you will not be good."

So that's the second time Dana has said "It won't be good", but will he come through on his promise? Doubtful to say the best. What are they going to do, cut him from the fight two days before it's due to happen, with the arena probably sold out? Yeah right.

But one thing has happened since he said that, Nick Diaz DID appear at the UFC press conference on Thursday 14th March. And him and Georges had some heated exchanges, both there, and on the conference call on Saturday, with Nick calling GSP out about certain things on several occasions, and especially at the press conference, you could see that Georges had had enough of all the media stuff he had been doing, as well as being fed up with Nick Diaz. Now I know for sure that Nick Diaz is in his head, as you could see from his reactions, but the question is, how will that affect 'Rush'? Will it tear his game plan apart? Or will it add fuel to the fire, and will we see GSP finally get that finish that he has been promising for so many years now?

One problem the UFC could face though, is the post fight drug test. Say Nick Diaz wins the fight on Saturday, and becomes the new welterweight champion, but then tests positive for marijuana metabolites, will the UFC still follow through on cutting him? Nick tested positive after his last fight against Carlos Condit, and while I do think it's crazy that marijuana gets you a year long ban, it is against the rules, and it is illegal. Also violating company policy twice in two fights can’t put you in the good books.

Not such a wise move there Nick, who admitted the following at the press conference:
"I think [at UFC 143] I tested for a metabolite or a nanogram, it was hardly [a trace] so I just did a little more than I did last time so, sorry if I don't pass the test, but I think it should work out. I've passed plenty of them before, unless they just weren't testing me. I wonder how much they test people around here (glancing at St. Pierre)."
This fight is clearly set up as good vs. evil, but I can't help thinking that this fight resembles 'The Dark Knight', with Nick Diaz playing The Joker, trying to get Batman to break his one and only rule. And GSP's rule, usually, is to fight with a clear head, with no emotion, to break down the fight, with a defined plan. But Diaz has been filling Georges with rage for the past week or so now, and anybody who does not watch this fight, could be missing an absolute classic.
So my advice to all of you, ORDER THE SHOW!

By Dan Lloyd (drl_nufc) 

Thursday, 14 March 2013

Natural vs. Artificial – Battle of the Sugars

We all know that we should be having at least five fruits or vegetables a day and of course 8 glasses of water, but it seems as though everyday more and more products claiming to be ‘healthier’ are stocked on the shelves of our supermarkets; not to mention the ever growing list of dietary must- do’s and don’ts that emerge in the media.

At the beginning of the year, after feeling as though I’d over indulged over the festive month, I sat down to watch Channel 5’s documentary  ‘50 Shocking Facts About Diet and Exercise’; which did not make me feel any better about all the delicious, unhealthy food I had just eaten. Though the documentary suggested some ludicrous dietary facts, such as eating 12 bananas a day could kill you, it got me thinking more about the food I’ve been eating.

Are sweeteners better than actual sugar? Who wins in the battle between margarine and butter? And who stands triumphant when it comes to diet fizzy drinks versus the original drink?

Without rambling on about calories, GDA’s (being guideline daily amounts) and things of a similar nature, let’s take a moment to discuss sugar and whether we actually need it to function.

Well yes, our bodies do need it, but not in excess. The GDA website explains that the ‘brain needs glucose (a simple sugar) as it is it’s only source of energy and the body's tissues use sugar (stored in liver and muscles) to carry out their main functions.’

Though it’s important to have sugar in a person’s diet, too much sugar could lead to the development of diabetes, potential tooth decay and an expanding waist-line! But what potential risks does having a sugar substitute have?

Sugar substitutes or artificial sweeteners, come in many forms but a few of the most common forms are saccharin and aspartame. These sweeteners are a lot sweeter than natural sugars and are more or less calorie free. So you get a sweet taste which is virtually guilt free? Perhaps not - there is some controversy around the use of Aspartame and its use in diet fizzy drinks, with claims that ‘they cause a variety of health problems, including cancer’ though there is no scientific evidence confirming this.
Other claims from on the dangers of Aspartame include not only cancer but also the risk of headaches, depression and increased hunger, the latter being a concern if you’re eating food with sweeteners in order to avoid putting on the pounds.

Natural sugar versus sugar substitutes is just one of the many examples of natural vs. artificial, low calorie substitutes available on our supermarket shelves.
Whilst it seems as though everything has its pro’s and con’s, I’m a great believer of everything in moderation. It seems far better to have a teaspoon of sugar every so often than to polish off a tub of artificial sweeteners, just because you can.

Now with this being my first post with TheGradStop it seems only fair to test run some theories on healthy eating and dietary tips, with the hope that my experiences will help you improve your lifestyle and make you think about what you’re eating!
I can’t promise expensive Goji berries and 24K gold infused creams, but I’ll be putting the green-tea drink and face wash test, to the test for the next week, when I’ll be reporting back, with hopefully good news and a cost-effective method for all to improve their skin and metabolism!

By Farah Chowdhury  (@seefaraway)  

Monday, 11 March 2013

Podcasts Which Will Improve Your Life

Today, whilst driving around, I realised that I had switched the radio off; nothing but the constant hum of the engine to fill the silence. I started thinking, and noticed that I had turned the radio off in anger and frustration when I was listening to the same song for the third time within one hour.  I’m sure we have all experienced this on the morning commute, all those annoying ads from Hampson Hughes and other insurance providers occasionally punctuated by the latest pop hit. It can get a little draining. Even if we load our iPods with our own selection of music, it tends to get repetitive. This was something I used to experience when taking long train journeys back to London from Uni, and it was around this time that I discovered Podcasts. 

I haven’t been listening to Podcasts long, but they have had a really positive effect on my life and expanding my general views. Seeing as this blog is all about expanding views and improving life experiences, I thought I should share this with you.

The Joe Rogan Experience

I first came across the Joe Rogan podcast by an inadvertent bout of marketing. Most marketers know that for anyone to take notice of a product, they have to see, hear or feel it at least seven times. This was precisely what happened to me if I’m being honest. Guess I’m one of the statistics! I’ve been a fan of mixed martial arts for a long time and anyone who is involved in this community knows who Joe Rogan is. He is essentially the commentator for the UFC as well as a comedian and a badass martial artist, but don’t be mistaken, he wasn’t the one promoting. In fact, I heard loads of fighters talking about this podcast and finally I thought I would try listening to it on my epic train journey home from Uni. I was expecting a talk show purely about martial arts but I was surprised when I heard Joe and his guests talking about everything from comedy to spirituality. The talks often have a variety of guests ranging from other comedians to highly esteemed Physicists such as Neil deGrasse Tyson. If you like to learn new things, and are interested by a wide variety of people, this is for you. These talks are awe inspiring and embody the rebellion against traditional education. This podcast really has the ability to open your mind up to new interests and is almost an alternative education. I strongly encourage all of you to check this podcast out, it could either change your life or you will hate me for it. But either way I’m willing to take the risk because that’s just how great this podcast is. I can’t even begin to suggest where to start as the library of this show is extensive and each one gets better and better. The most recent podcast have featured the likes of John McAfee, Enson Inoue, Kat Von D, and Immortal Technique to name but a few.

London Real TV

The second podcast which I’ve only recently started listening to is London Real. This is a weekly podcast which is run by two adopted Londoners: Brian Rose and Nic Gabriel. One former trader and one martial arts master: What a combination! These two guys moved to London many years ago and began this podcast in order to interact with their environment and other interesting individuals. It’s slightly shorter than the Joe Rogan Experience, but some of the topics are very similar. These guys try to keep it as an extended interview with some really great questions which allow the listener to get the best out of the conversation and keep the dialogue focussed. They’ve had some great guests such as Tim Ferris (author of the four hour work week), Graham Hancock, and Roger Gracie among others.  Similarly to the Joe Rogan Experience, they are quite diverse and eclectic in their topics. Consequently, each podcast leaves you thinking and questioning, thirsty to learn new things. More recently however, Brian has been bringing on a selection of Co-hosts which gives us, the listeners, an even better opportunity to hear different views in each episode.

Freakonomics Radio

From the authors who brought you “Freakonomics” and “Superfreakonomics”, comes this podcast. It’s included in most top ten lists for podcasts and for the right reasons too. They offer new shocking topics along the same lines of those which are discussed in the book and more, on a weekly basis. This is a podcast for all those who like to be shocked by new information and possibly enraged by what they hear. The weekly episodes try and focus around one topic per episode which is generally a current issue. For example, one of the more recent ones I enjoyed was on how to think about guns- A highly controversial topic following the Sandy Hook shootings in the USA and the anti-gun laws which Piers Morgan has been championing. In a way, this podcast is quite a nice supplement to the normal news you hear on a daily basis. It offers a more in depth and often a diverse debate surrounding the topic which can help your understanding exponentially. Again, this podcast helps expose some truths which most of us wouldn’t hear about, and offers a different perspective on the world which is key for us here at The GradStop.

TED Talks

This is probably one of the biggest and best organisations in the world for spreading new ideas and generally mind blowing information. Unfortunately, tickets to these events are notoriously expensive and often difficult for mere students and grads like us to afford. But alas, the more affordable (free) version is the podcast. It still has a lot of new ideas and awesome lectures from a variety of different innovators and thought leaders so don’t worry, you’re not being short changed. This podcast is considerably shorter as it focusses around just one lecture per podcast, much like the TED videos on YouTube. Nevertheless, it is ideal for someone who just wants to fill ten or twenty minutes and learn something new in a short period of time. The information which is expressed in these talks is amazing and can often be used to give you ideas for individual projects. So for you final year students out there who are struggling to find a dissertation topic, start listening to these talks. I personally had that experience when I was struggling to find a topic for my final year economics project. After listening to a TED podcast about oil and the way it will shape our future, I did some more research into the supply from the OPEC cartel and created a successful project around it. All in all, this is one of the most practical podcasts due to the time limits the TED speakers have, it enables you to get to the root of the information without wasting too much time.

Friday, 8 March 2013

Happy Women's Day!

From being blamed for the temptation of Adam, Eve and all her descendants have been feeling the repercussions of that apparent incident since the beginning of modern times. Women have never been born with a silver spoon, nor have they had favourable conditions in this “man’s world”.  From having their feet bound in ancient China, to having to endure the senseless genital mutilation which plagues many young girls today, women have been attacked directly and indirectly continually over the centuries. Nevertheless, they have constantly prevailed and shown us all, the true excellence and talent which human beings possess. From Boudicca to Rosa Parks, women have proved that their resilience and determination are dually insurmountable and should be rightly honoured. We take this day to admire these women who form the backbone of society and silently work, hands weary, and heads tired, striving for a better day.


Although we only have one day to celebrate such a momentous event, please, let’s not forget that our mothers, sisters, daughters and wives, are all strong women who never flounder or fail in the sight of struggle and are always there to pick us up when we fall. Countless men over the years have sealed their fates in the history books, but women have been woefully overlooked. So whether the women in your life is the next Prime Minister, or simply the one who is always there for you, respect her for the Queen which she is and award her the accolades she deserves, not only today, but all year round. Happy Women’s Day!

Wednesday, 6 March 2013

UFC Gets Brutal with Fighters

Over the past week or so, it has been a fairly traumatic time for many fighters among the UFC I imagine. A total of 19 fighters have been released by the promotion, and not in the usual fashion either. Not all new fighters, all playing their trade on the undercard, oh no! The UFC has released some pretty big names today. Most with impressive records!
First off the bat, Jon Fitch. Okay, I know he isn’t the most popular fighter in the world. But for a fighter who has such a good record, and was part of the title picture until Johny Hendricks knocked him out, this shocked me completely. I’m aware he only had one win in his last four fights, but he had only lost his last fight, against a big welterweight, and top fighter, Demian Maia. Usually, it was a three strike rule for this sort of deal, but with Fitch’s popularity lower than most fighters in the welterweight division, it seems like his fighting style, grinding out decision wins, has finally worn thin with Joe Silva, who has wielded the axe, and chopped him.
Other fighters that have been cut are British trio Terry Etim, Paul Sass and Che Mills. All featured on the UFC on FUEL TV 7 card this past weekend, that I covered for H4TV, and all lost. Their opponents came with excellent game plans, and wrestled their way to victories, must to the chagrin of the fans in Wembley. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is the decision. All of which were losses, and even though Che Mills took to twitter, and pleaded for another chance with head honcho Dana White, but it seems like his pleas have fallen on deaf ears. The British stock continues to fall within the UFC, the amount of British fighters the UFC have on their books with more than five fights, now down to just five fighters.
As previously mentioned, I was at UFC on FUEL TV 7 this past Saturday, and the fighters on that card who are now done with the UFC are the aforementioned trio of Etim, Sass and Mills, along with Josh Grispi, Ulysses Gomez, Motonobu Tezuka and Jorge Santiago, taking it up to a whopping total of SEVEN fighters who were fighting for their job on that card.
No doubt other promotions will be licking their lips at the thought of these fighters being on their books. Jon Fitch recently said he desperately needed the money from one of his fights, so he’ll be looking to sign with somebody else as soon as possible, my bet, would be the biggest competitor to the UFC, which would now be Bellator. I imagine the British trio could either fight for Bellator, or return back home and fight for BAMMA, Cage Warriors, or UCMMA. Jorge Santiago would likely return to Japan, where he has found a lot of success, along with Tezuka. Some fighters will find themselves in the wilderness though, due to the dominance the UFC owns over the MMA world, a few probably having to go back to local circuits to try and build their way back up.
Also, this past week has seen Matt Riddle get released because of a failed drugs test. This was his second within the space of seven months, but for a fighter who needs marijuana medically to calm him down (Riddle has Attention Deficit Disorder), and it is quite harsh considering the amount of TRT (Testosterone Replacement Therapy) floating around the UFC at the moment, yet none of those fighters are getting cut right now! After winning four fights in a row, and two of them both cut to no contests because of a medical marijuana mishap, you know, it could have been handled better I reckon, but, the UFC was right to cut him. Two failed drugs tests, it can't fly in the best promotion for MMA in the world. Riddle has protested, saying how he quit three weeks before his fight, and that he's quit with less time before, and passed, so who knows how this happened, but it did unfortunately for him. Whether Mills will return to the UFC, like Brandon Vera did after Thiago Silva was caught using banned substances, remains to be seen, but I would say it's unlikely in all honesty.
The full list of released fighters is as follows:
Heavyweight: Mike Russow  Light Heavyweight: Vladimir Matyushenko, Wagner Prado Welterweight: Jon Fitch, Che Mills, Jay Hieron, Jorge Santiago, Simeon Thoresen, Mike Stumpf, Matt Riddle
 Lightweight: Jacob Volkmann, Paul Sass, C.J. Keith, Terry Etim
 Featherweight: Josh Grispi, Diego Nunes, Milton Vieira
 Bantamweight: Motonobu TezukaFlyweight: Ulysses Gomez

By Dan Lloyd (@drl_nufc)