Glendale, AZ — After losing her first two UFC fights, Pannie Kianzad is now on a four-fight win streak and eyeing Raquel Pennington, who she was matched up with at one point in the past.
During her UFC 263 post-fight media scrum, Kianzad told Cageside Press about how she turned her UFC career around.
“Well, The Ultimate Fighter was my chance to get a UFC contract, but it just wasn’t my time. It wasn’t my time; it wasn’t my weight class; it was just not me. My opponent was better than me that night. I got sent home without a contract and, I was pretty down for a while, but I fought again. I got a chance to fight at bantamweight, and I took the fight on two weeks’ notice, which I’m not regretting. I fought Julia Avila, and she was way better than me that night; she was better prepared,” Kianzad said.
“I said, you know, to the matchmakers when I got there, you won’t regret it, just give me a contract in my own weight class, and you won’t regret it.”
The UFC has not regretted it. Kianzad has won four straight and will be breaking into the top 10 and will most likely getting a top-five opponent next.
As for who, Kianzad asked for a former title challenger and someone to whom she was previously linked, Raquel Pennington, who was suspended earlier this year.
“Well, we were scheduled to fight tonight, and I don’t know why it didn’t happen. I think she said she can go in August, and I can get cleared in August. I would love to fight in August if she wants to,” Kianzad said.
The Iranian-born Swedish fighter believes she is a top-five fighter now and will look to take Pennington’s spot at the top of the division.
Watch the full UFC 263 post-fight press conference with Pannie Kianzad above.