After forming friendship on ‘TUF 28,’ Pannie Kianzad has nothing to hide vs. Macy Chiasson

LAS VEGAS – Pannie Kianzad isn’t worried about her relationship with Macy Chiasson festering in a negative way when the pair meet at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale.

Kianzad (10-3 MMA, 0-0 UFC) makes no secrets about the personal bond she formed with Chiasson (2-0 MMA, 0-0 UFC) during Season 28 of “The Ultimate Fighter” reality series. They have to put that aside for one night, though, because on Friday they will meet for a UFC contract at The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale.

During their time on Team Gastelum, Kianzad and Chiasson trained together often. Having an opponent with such thorough knowledge could be a point of concern for some fighters, but in Kianzad’s might, it only boosts intrigue in the contest.

“I think it’s cool,” Kianzad told reporters, including MMAjunkie, at TUF 28 Finale media day. “We both know each other. We both know our strengths and our weaknesses. She doesn’t know anything new about me. It’s not a usual thing you get to fight with someone you train with.”

The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale takes place at Pearl Theater in Las Vegas. Kianzad vs. Chiasson is part of the FS1-televised portion of the card following early prelims on UFC Fight Pass.

Kianzad said that she believed from the first day of “TUF 28” filming that, barring any unforeseen circumstances, she would meet Chiasson in the finals of the eight-woman featherweight tournament. She said they were “the best one,” and her prediction came to fruition.

It’s a big opportunity for both athletes, because the winner will be the first (and likely only) “TUF” winner at women’s featherweight. It’s a huge honor for Kianzad, but she said that doesn’t mean 145 pounds is going to be her permanent home going forward.

Kianzad has bounced between featherweight and bantamweight during her career and said she’s going to keep her options open going forward.

“If the right fight is there I don’t mind staying,” Kianzad. “I’m not a true believer that you need to be the biggest or the person who cuts the most weigh to stay at a weight class. I fight where ever I want. If I feel like fighting at ’45 now and ’35 later than maybe 145 again. Whatever they want me to do. I’ll fight at both classes.”

UFC women’s featherweight champion Cris Cyborg, who next defends her title against Amanda Nunes at UFC 232 in December, has said she’s viewing the “TUF 28” winner as a potential future opponent for her. Kianzad is not looking ahead to that quite yet, but she said a matchup with the dominant Brazilian is something she’s absolutely embrace.

“She’s human,” Kianzad said. “She’s the best fighter, but she’s not going to stick around for that long. She’s fought for a long time and if we can get the chance, this is just business. I like her as a person, I like her as a fighter. She’s the fighter I look u too most of everybody. I’m here to showcase myself too.”

For more on The Ultimate Fighter 28 Finale, check out the UFC Rumors section of the site.

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