It’s been 15 long months since we’ve seen Pannie Kianzad in a UFC cage. In April of 2022, the former Cage Warriors bantamweight champion dominated Lina Lansberg en route to a unanimous decision victory. In doing so, she took some damage to her knee and went right to surgery.
“I just tore my ACL. I basically went into surgery two weeks after [my last fight]. Then I headed over to the PI in Vegas and spent 3 months there, doing the first part of my recovery there,” Kianzad explained. “Recover has been really good, but I wanted that year to pass before I got into the cage.”
Now fully recovered, she looks forward to moving ahead in a wide open division with no champion. On the docket for her return is a bout with #4 ranked bantamweight Ketlen Vieira. Despite Vieira’s grappling credentials, which include a jiu jitsu black belt under Andre Pederneiras as well as a judo black belt, Kianzad is ready for anything at UFC London.
“Wherever she’s comfortable – she’s going to go with that. If she can stand up and strike with you for three rounds, she’s definitely going to do that,” she said. “Her last fights have barely been on the ground, so I’m expecting everything.”
Although she’s ready for whatever may come, there is something that Kianzad is looking for.
“You know what? I just wish she’d stand with me. I just hope a girl like her stands in the middle,” “I really want to get into a fistfight, so I’m really hoping for that. I’m hoping to do the Wonderboy and Holland fight – you know what, we’re just going to keep this standing.”
Kianzad’s fight with Ketlen Vieira takes place at UFC London this Saturday. The fight will be featured on the EPSN+ prelims, which start at noon EST.