Pannie "Banzai" Kianzad
24 year old Iranian-Swedish Mixed Martial Artist, Pannie "Banzai" Kianzad is currently signed to Invicta FC as a bantamweight fighter. Pannie currently sports an 8-1 Professional Record as of 6/22/2016 with her only defeat coming from Invicta Bantamweight Champion, Tonya Evinger. Prior to Invicta, Pannie was signed to Cage Warriors and became the first female Bantamweight Champion of the organization after defeating Eeva Siiskonen via unanimous decision. Another blessing presented by Jay General of Fresh Start MMA, we were given the opportunity to discuss a little bit more about Pannie's life and future within MMA.
Tell us a bit about yourself, where did you grow up and what was life like growing up? (Family, school, friends)
Me, my mother Shahnaz, father Khosro, sister Hsrat, brothers Siamak and Pojan came to Sweden in 1993 to a small village in the south of Sweden, Åstorp. We lived there for about 6 years until we moved into town. Growing up wasn't anything spectacular, I was mostly by myself. I started training a lot when I was young – swimming and started boxing at the age of 13. My parents had broken up a couple years earlier so I went back and forth between them. I struggled of finding myself in middle school, not with studies or anything (I was pretty mediocre, didn't work so hard to get good grades / never stood out). I didn't start finding myself until I went to high school and that I wanted to be an athlete full-time. Everything was always about making everybody else happy, especially my mom. I think my father always let me be me, but one thing I knew I never wanted was to be shaped into something I wasn't. I had 3 good friends growing up that I still talk to but mostly now I just surrounded by my teammates. I wouldn't say I was super close to any of my siblings but my brother Siamak. We have martial arts in common and I think he understands me in another way.
Were you involved in any sports as a youth in or outside of school?
I started swimming at the age of 6-11 …and boxing from 13.
What is your favorite child-hood memory?
When I was a kid and my dad still drove trucks around Europe I got to go with him for a few days, just me and him. That was fun.
Any interesting child-hood stories and/or fun facts?
Fun facts about me is that when I was a kid my mom always cut my hair very short like a boy and always dressed me in girly clothes so people always thought I was a boy with a screwed up identity .
Getting involved in MMA:
How did you get involved?
When I got close to my graduation at the age of 17-18, I felt that I was done in boxing and found love in grappling. So I really just left my boxing gym out of nowhere and went into something I was completely lost in… but for me it was just the right thing to do.
What discipline did you begin with and care to share a bit about your early experiences learning the sport(s)?
Martial arts wise, it was amateur boxing. I had a 50/50 record with around 26 fights. Did train a bit with the junior national team in Sweden but I left boxing at the age of 18 after 5 years.
At what point did you know you were ready to step in the cage for the first time?
I actually knew my value in this sport when I did my amateur debut. I had good people around me and I felt like a million bucks.
When the cage locked behind you in your first fight, can you recall what went through your mind? How did your first fight turn out?
My first amateur fight ended up me beating the living shit out of this girl and she claimed that I bit her finger! Well I didn't. …But, yeah.
My first pro fight I went in guns blazing against a home girl from Estonia with a purple belt in BJJ and just smacked her in the face. That was awesome!
What are 3 things you've learned while being involved in this sport?
Hard work beats talented
What gym are you currently fighting out of?
Rumble Sports Copenhagen, Denmark
What is your current record (ammy/pro) and at what weight?
Pro 8-1-0 135IB
Do you currently have a nickname in this sport? If so, what is it and why?
"Sexy Scramble" because I can make any scramble look sexy.
If you could improve one aspect of your game, what would it be and why?
Be a bit nastier in the cage with my techniques
What is your most memorable experience as an MMA fighter?
Fighting in Jordan, Amman for Cage Warriors.
Any interesting stories to share or learning experiences whilst fighting you would like to share?
I was once spanked in the sauna in Russia by an Oompa Loompa guy while cutting weight with Nicolas Dolby
If you could offer one bit of advice to an aspiring fighter what would it be?
GET OUT OF F**KING BED, GET YOUR F**KING MIND STRAIGHT, WORK F**KING HARD, SUFFER LIKE NEVER BEFORE, SLEEP WELL, EAT GOOD, LOVE YOUR FAMILY AND CLAIM WHAT'S F**KING YOURS."
Would you like to give a shout out to any sponsors individuals who have supported you?
What are your goals for the future in the sport?
World Champion. Period.
What are your thoughts on the current state of the sport and where it's headed?
It's all growing but I'm scared that this sport is becoming a show instead of a real sport. I wish we could see beyond all the superficial stuff and focus on fighting and making a better life for our athletes so they can train and live fulltime MMA
If you could change one thing in the sport, what would it be?
The value of every pro fighter. Everybody should be able to take care of themselves without wondering where to sleep, eat or how to train.
Where do you see yourself 10 years from now?
Having my own gym and showing of my belts
Favorite type of Music:
Lord of the Rings
Favorite TV Show:
Do you have any children? Do you plan on having any/more?:
NO. Maybe . if they can be as awesome as me.
Best day of your life:
Still haven't experienced it
Interesting/Unknown Fact about yourself:
I love popping pimples.
Raves, teaching and laughing
Who is your favorite super hero and why?
Haven't looked up to any. If I find one I will let u know.
Facebook Page/Fan Page: Pannie "sexy scramble" kianzad
Manager Contact (for sponsorship/fight inquiries) Intensiti Managment Graham Boyland
Email Address: Pannie email@example.com
Photography Provided by MMANYTT
MMAnytt started February 3, 2008 aiming to Europe's largest Martial Arts website with more than 20 employees worldwide. In the editorial focus on delivering the latest news primarily from the MMA world with as high of a quality as possible. Our editorial team is spread across the whole of Sweden; from Malmö in the south to Umeå in the north. With our contact sports knowledge, we can spread the news about all the world's Martial Arts with a focus MMA.