Foto: © Stephen R. Sylvanie-USA TODAY Sports

Pannie Kianzad aiming to become first female Swedish UFC champ

"That's what I'm working for"

With two straight wins and a top 15 ranking, Sweden’s Pannie Kianzad is on the right track in the UFC – But she wont be satisfied until she’s achieved champ status.

While a popular fighter in Sweden with much success on the European scene, she was still waiting to reach out to a truly international audience. Making it onto The Ultimate Fighter season 28, Kianzad advanced all the way to the finals. She faced team mate Macy Chiasson, and ended up losing via second round submission.

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Kianzad returned to the UFC in 2019 after shockingly being cut from the roster in a puzzling move. Though her return was on short notice she still put on an admirable performance against rising star Julia Avila, though the former lost a decision. Since then, however, she has lined up two impressive wins over Jessica Rose-Clark and former titel challenger Bethe Correia.

This Saturday Kianzad will take on Sijara Eubanks at the UFC Apec Center. While well prepared and hardly looking past Eubanks, Kianzad is undoubtedly shooting for the stars – And a shot at bantamweight queen Amanda Nunes‘ title.

“I would be lying if I said it doesn’t matter who has the title, because she is absolutely the greatest of all time right now, and of course I would love to fight for the title with her,” Kianzad told MMAnytt.

Currently Kianzad has four fights left on her UFC-contract. Ranked at #14 in the bantamweight division those bouts give her the chance to ascend the rankings to the top. When done with her current contract, the Swede hope that a titel fight awaits.

“I’m not doing this to… like come to the top ten and hoping for a better contract next time. I’m doing it until the end, and then I’m gone, you know? I’m hoping to, after these four fights that I signed for, that the next contract will be for a different kind of contract, like for a titel fight included.”

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The end goal is clear though: A UFC title. Thus far no Swede has captured a UFC belt, though Alexander Gustafsson has come very close twice. Knowing her full potential Kianzad sees herself as the first female Swedish UFC champion.

“I can see Khamzat (Chimaev) becoming one of our first champs, I can see me becoming first [female] champ, I do, definitely, that’s what I’m working for,” Pannie Kianzad said in a separate interview with MMAnytt.

 

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for MMAnytt.com
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