Dakota Ditcheva: Ready To Step Up To The World Stage At PFL 1: 2024

Dakota Ditcheva: Ready To Step Up To The World Stage At PFL 1: 2024

Dakota Ditcheva may well be the best prospect in the Women’s Flyweight division in MMA. She won the PFL Europe title in 2023 by blitzing one opponent after another.

Ditcheva is now ready to step up to the world stage and is competing in the 2024 PFL regular season. For the first round of fights, she is scheduled to face Lisa Mauldin in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday 4 April 2024.

Read on if you want to find out more about the 25-year-old, who may end up taking this competition by storm.

Family Background

Dakota Ditcheva was born in Sale, Greater Manchester, England on 11 July 1998. Her dad is Bulgarian and her mother, Lisa Howarth, is English.

Dakota grew up around martial arts. Her mother is a former world champion at Kickboxing, Muay Thai and Full Contact Karate. She opened a gym, Northern Spirit Muay Thai, in Sale over 30 years ago, which she still runs to this day.

Although Ditcheva now trains at the American Top Team gym in Coconut Creek, Florida, whenever she is in the UK, her mother still does striking training with her at the gym.

Muay Thai

Dakota started training Muay Thai at her mother’s gym when she was four. As well as showing natural talent from an early age, she was also very disciplined, dedicated and determined to succeed.

Ditcheva went on to win multiple Muay Thai titles at national, European and World levels. In 2016, she won gold at the International Federation of Muay Thai Amateur World Championships in the Female Junior division.

Transitioning To MMA

In an interview with Ariel Helwani, Dakota Ditcheva said she decided to pursue a career in MMA as she saw better career opportunities there than in Muay Thai. She had also seen how Valentina Shevchenko and Joanna Jedrzejczyk transitioned successfully from Muay Thai to MMA, and was further inspired by Ronda Rousey.

After winning all four of her amateur MMA fights from 2019 to 2020, Ditcheva turned professional. She won her first four pro fights within two rounds, which earned her a spot in UAE Warriors.

Dakota fought the unbeaten Brazilian rising star Paula Cristina (5-0-0) at UAE Warriors 28 on 26 March 2022. She won by unanimous decision and by now, had come to the attention of other promotions.

In July 2022, it was announced that Dakota Ditcheva had signed with the PFL.

Dakota Ditcheva vs Hassana Gaber

On 20 August 2022, Ditcheva made her PFL debut on PFL 9: 2022 Playoffs at the Copper Box Arena in London. She certainly made an impression in beating Hassana Gaber via a stoppage after only 58 seconds of the first round following a knee to the liver. This win secured her a spot in the PFL Europe 2023 Series.

vs Katherine Corogenes

On 25 November 2022, Dakota Ditcheva fought Katherine Corogenes on PFL 10: 2022 Championships at Madison Square Garden, New York. She impressed yet again, winning by first round knockout from a great right hand.

vs Malin Hermansson

Ditcheva was matched against Malin Hermansson in the first round of fights for the 2023 PFL Europe Women’s Flyweight Series. This fight was held on 25 March 2023 in Newcastle, England. Hermansson was an experienced opponent, who had previously fought in Bellator and Cage Warriors.

Dakota showed her well-rounded skillset in winning by first round submission from a rear naked choke. This was a statement of intent and showed why she was the hot favourite to win the PFL Europe title.

vs Cornelia Holm

Dakota Ditcheva faced another experienced opponent, Cornelia Holm, in the PFL Europe semi-final in Paris on 30 September 2023. Ditcheva dominated the fight and won by third round stoppage following a punch to the liver.

vs Valentina Scatizzi

Dakota was now in the PFL Europe final where she would face Valentina Scatizzi in Dublin on 8 December 2023, for the opportunity to win the 2023 PFL Europe title and the $100,000 prize that came with it.

She dominated the first round and unleashed multiple brutal knees to the head and body of her opponent. Although Scatizzi wanted to continue, the doctor stopped the fight between the first and second rounds due to the condition of her left eye.

Dakota Ditcheva was now the PFL Europe Women’s Flyweight champion for 2023. She had totally dominated all of her opponents on the way to this title and was clearly on the way to bigger and better things.

Where is Dakota Ditcheva Now?

Dakota’s current professional MMA record is 10-0-0 with eight wins by KO/TKO, one by submission and one by decision. Seven of her ten wins have come by way of first round stoppage. She is currently on a 14-fight win streak across her professional and amateur careers.

After being so impressive in the 2023 PFL Europe Series, Ditcheva has been entered into the PFL’s 2024 Regular Season in their newly created Women’s Flyweight division.

Her first fight is against Lisa Mauldin in San Antonio, Texas on Thursday 4 April 2024. Although Liz Carmouche and Taila Santos will provide stiff competition for the $1,000,000 prize on offer, Ditcheva has a good chance of winning it.

Approach to Fighting

She wants to stay active and fight three to four times a year, so the PFL tournament format suits her.

Ditcheva has a well-rounded game, but her main strengths lie in her striking and her knees. With long legs, a height of 5’8″ and many years of high-level Muay Thai competition and training, she uses her knees to brutal effect against her opponents’ heads and bodies.

She is concerned not just with winning, but also putting on a good show for fans. She says she wants to win by stoppage rather than by points decisions, as this is what fans want to see.

What Does the Future Hold?

Dakota Ditcheva has previously said she would like to fight in the UFC one day. She has also said she likes to use her elbows when fighting. If she continues to impress and does win the 2024 PFL Season in the Women’s Flyweight division, her reputation will be further enhanced.

She is still only 25 years old and has plenty of time to achieve her goals in the PFL before one day fighting in the UFC, where she will of course be able to add elbows to her arsenal of weapons.

The future is very bright for Dakota Ditcheva and there doesn’t seem to be a ceiling to what she can achieve.

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