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UFC’s Pannie Kianzad eyes May showdown with Julianna Pena or Raquel Pennington

Pannie Kianzad is ready to enter the upper echelon of the bantamweight division.

Since rejoining the UFC roster in July 2019, “The Ultimate Fighter 28” finalist has gone 3-1, winning her past three in a row over Jessica-Rose Clark, Bethe Correia and, most recently, Sijara Eubanks in December.

Looking to continue riding her momentum, Kianzad (14-5 MMA, 4-2 UFC) is hoping for a step up in competition and wants a crack at either the recently victorious Julianna Pena or former title challenger Raquel Pennington.

“Well, 2021, I really want to keep this ball rolling and keep winning and keep improving,” Kianzad told MMA Junkie. “I either want to fight Pena or Pennington in May. I mean that’s what I’m looking for. Either of those two, and I’m going to keep training and evolving for May, and I’m going to be ready for that.”

She continued, “If you look at the UFC rankings, the people above me are either scheduled to fight or pregnant or injured. If you look at the whole roster – and Sara McMann just fought, and I don’t want to fight anyone coming off a loss so if you look at it– it does make sense to either fight Pena or Pennington.”

Throughout her career, Kianzad has always traveled around to get different looks in training. She explains that despite the fact that she’s healthy, she’d rather get a full camp in to allow her time to make advancements in her game.

“That’ll be nice to fight in May, and I really like the off-season time, as well, because that’s the time when fighters get better,” Kianzad said. “In camp, you don’t get better at what you do, you just get in better shape. But off-season time is when we learn the most, and you get to try new stuff and try different training partners.

“I’ve been enjoying this time. These months I’m going to go around – I’m in Stockholm a lot training, as well, so I’m going through Stockholm, Copenhagen, and here at home – just going around training, learning new stuff and getting ready for May.”

To hear the full interview with Kianzad, check out the video below.

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