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Pannie Kianzad slams UFC rankings, says she’d knock out Julianna Pena: “Any day of the week”

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Pannie Kianzad UFC 263 MMA Frontkick Online Alexis Davis

Swedish UFC bantamweight Pannie Kianzad talks UFC return. Photo: Mark J. Rebilas – USA TODAY Sports

A few months back, Swedish UFC bantamweight Pannie Kianzad inked the contract for her career-biggest fight against No. 4 ranked Irene Aldana at UFC 279. A main card bout that potentially could put her in position for a title shot.

However, first day in camp, “Banzai” injured her knee and had to withdraw from the fight. In a new interview with Swedish fighting podcast, Käftsmällspodden, she opens up on the injury.

“It was during wrestling, like the tenth round, I was dead tired and the knee just went with a bang,” Kianzad said. “I knew that if I won that fight, they would have given me the title fight.” (Translated from Swedish)

The torn ligament is her first major injury, and will keep her away from competing for over a year.

“It’s been hard, I think a lot of fighters go through that, but I’ve been through dark times before and I don’t want to get stuck there again,” Kianzad revealed. “I had moments where I was afraid that I wouldn’t be able to perform as I did before.”

Read more: Updated UFC rankings: Retired champ suddenly back in the rankings (!)

Pannie Kianzad won’t fight until next summer

However, the 30-year-old Swede is just reaching her prime and will not rush her comeback to the octagon.

“I won’t fight until next summer. I won’t do it earlier, I won’t go from a long rehab straight to camp. I will start training regularly before going into a fight camp,” Kianzad said.

Even though she’s disappointed being away for such a long time, Pannie is confident that UFC will put her on the main card in the future, as she aims to fight anyone that’s ranked above her in the division.

“I would face Peña any day of the week, I would knock her out,” Kianzad said.

“The UFC ranking is chaotic”

The Swedish currently holds the No. 7 spot in the bantamweight division, but claimed that she should be higher on the rankings since so many top bantamweights have such a hard time making weight.

“On a personal level it doesn’t matter. You can weigh 20 pounds more than me and I will still beat you to a pulp. But when it comes to ranking and title shots. For example, they talked about giving Aldana a title shot – and I absolutely think they shouldn’t. If you first can’t make 136, and then you have to make championship weight at 135, if you can’t make it, they shouldn’t risk a title fight,” Kianzad reasoned. “Norma Dumont, she has never ever made 135 in her life, and now she’s in the bantamweight rankings. The UFC rankings are chaotic, it’s not right.”

Read more: Fight Club Rush expands their commentary team with UFC fighter Pannie Kianzad


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