Bantamweights Raquel Pennington and Pannie Kianzad put on a fun show on the UFC Vegas 37 prelims, where Pennington came out on top via decision.
Former UFC women’s bantamweight title challenger Raquel Pennington returned to the octagon at UFC Vegas 37. Paired up with Invicta veteran Pannie Kianzad, “Rocky” was looking for her second straight win after defeating Marion Reneau last June.
Welcoming Pennington back from the year plus layoff was Kianzad, who entered the promotion after appearing on The Ultimate Fighter 28 as a featherweight. “Banzai” had been flying under the radar, putting together four straight wins inside the octagon.
Round one was a clinch-heavy round. Pennington first engaged the action early and looked for the takedown early but it ended up being a lot of action from Kianzad in the clinch. Pennington was technically the busier fighter in round one, but it was Kianzad that was landing lots of knees to the body of Rocky, Pennington landed some light shots in the clinch but it seemed that Kianzad was landing the heavier shots in round one.
Round two Pennington came out more aggressive, literally running across the octagon to start the round with a big flurry. Pennington landed a hard 1-2 before Kianzad landed a nice hook of her own. The two clinched again, this time with Pennington as the aggressor, getting the takedown about halfway through the round. Kianzad went for a triangle from guard but couldn’t pull it off, and Pennington soon passed and made her way to the back. However, Kianzad did fight her way back to the fight by the end of the round and ended the frame by landing some hard knees in the clinch.
Round three was more phone-booth fighting, with Pennington and Kianzad trading elbows and knees in the clinch. However, whenever there was brief separation, it tended to be Pennington landing the better shots, including a hard 1-2 that buckled Kianzad about halfway through the round. Kianzad landed some hard shots as well though, landing a hard jab that snapped Pennington’s head back near the end of the round. Similar to the first two rounds, it was an extremely close fight, and heading into the decision it seemed like it could be any woman’s fight.
Official Result: Raquel Pennington def. Pannie Kianzad via unanimous decision (29-28 3x)