Dakota Ditcheva envisions herself being the face of women’s MMA one day, but is happy to remain on the current trajectory she is on.

The British prospect will face Chelsea Hackett on June 13 in the second week of the Women’s Flyweight 2024 PFL regular season. She currently finds herself sitting at the top of the table following a first round destruction of Lisa Mauldin in April. 

Due to the nature of the PFL Season, all eight athletes in the tournament will compete over the first two events, trying to amass as many points as possible. A first-round victory will earn the victor 6 points, down to 3 points for a decision win. With Ditcheva not only getting the first round finish but doing it quicker than any of the other women, earned her the top spot. When talking to Ariel Helwani on the latest episode of The MMA Hour, the 2023 PFL European champion revealed that the point scoring system is on her mind whilst competing. She said:

“I was thinking about it when I was fighting. Yeah, which is probably not the best thing, I don't think to be concentrating on that. But it is important, you know, you can get top, top points in the first round and then if I drop a few now, maybe another girl will kind of come up and it's only top four that, that place. So. Right. Definitely something that I think about. Yeah."

Following a flawless run in the 2023 European season, Ditcheva entered the regular season for the first time in 2024 with names such as Liz Carmouche and Talia Santos also in the mix. ‘Dangerous’ is relishing the idea of potentially facing one of the more experienced women in the tournament.

“Definitely something that I think about. Yeah. I think probably one of the main things that I've seen is like now I've come up to the, the global season and they've brought in these two experienced fighters. It's kind of like everyone's thinking, Where's Dakota going to fit now? Right? So but that's good for me. You know, again, it just keeps me motivated to prove that, I'm at this level and it's exciting fights that people want to see as well.”

American Top Team has some of the biggest names in the sport training in the gym day in, day out and is one of the most recognisable gyms in the world. Ditcheva is one of numerous top female athletes representing the Florida based gym across many major promotions. When asked which of the women had really taken her under their wing, the young prospect revealed that former UFC Joanna Jedysafs had been a huge help. 

“She's not there anymore but Joanna J did come in. She's been in a few times when I've been there and she's just honestly the most humble and loveliest person that I've ever met. She said to me, You know, you ever need anything, ever want any training, just call me. You know, they can bring me back, I can come help. So, wow, that's somebody that I've looked up to that still doesn't sink into me, but someone that I've watched like from the very beginning. So to to have her say them words and, you know, she said to me, like, you're the next the next champ. Like, you know, you're going to be the next one. And even things like that just don’t sink in like, I work with the same coaches, she's got like it gives me great confidence.”

At only 25, Ditcheva still has years left in the sport. The Manchester native was the poster girl of the inaugural PFL European tournament and has certainly been thrust into the spotlight since signing her first major promotional contract. But as ‘Dangerous’ admitted, as much as she can see herself becoming a huge name in the sport, the road ahead can sometimes appear daunting.

“Yeah. I mean, that's probably what scares me more, to be honest, that maybe just scares me a little bit. You know that people are putting all this like this faith in me, although I know I'm going to do that anyway. I'm going to be the face of female MMA I know that's one of my goals you know, to inspire and things like that and I want to be the best but it is very can be daunting at times that I kind of got all this kind of media and stuff like that on me.

“But, you know, it's all coming at the right time. I feel like my journey with PFL kind of started off at the right point, know, and they've really built me up in the right way, you know, doing the European season first, got me ready for this season and I feel like I'm prepared and learning more and more each fight.”

Watch the full interview below: