Sijara Eubanks entered UFC Vegas 17 on Saturday looking to bounce back from a loss to Ketlen Vieira back in September — but still had the chance to secure her third win in 2020. Eubanks, who took home wins against Sarah Moras and Julia Avila earlier in the pandemic, was paired up against Pannie Kianzad. For her part, Kianzad, a former Invicta FC standout, was looking to make it three wins in a row.
Kianzad had fought at featherweight while on The Ultimate Fighter 28, while Eubanks had moved up to bantamweight after fighting as a flyweight earlier in her UFC career. Making this an interesting match-up in the middle, with both fighters having found some success at 135lbs.
Eubanks opened the fight with a well-timed level change. That allowed her lots of time to work from the top, trying to improve position. From the bottom, Kianzard closed her guard at times, and worked to get in position for an arm-bar attempt. Eubanks slowly but steadily moved her way to side control. Kianzad would reclaim guard but was unable to escape or pull off anything from bottom.
Round two was a near carbon copy of the first frame. Eubanks wound up on top. Kianzad worked from her back. Only this time out, after an arm-bar attempt and a few close submission chances, Kianzad escaped to her feet in the final minute. And she might have done enough from bottom to win the round.
The third round saw far more action on the feet. Kianzad had the edge in volume, Eubanks in power. The pair traded in the pocket. The swung right up until the final bell, both fighters raising their hands after fifteen minutes. When it came time to go to the scorecards, it was Kianzad earning the unanimous decision.
Official Result: Pannie Kianzad def. Sijara Eubanks by unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 29-28)