PFL’s Dakota Ditcheva can become Britain’s first-ever MMA female champion

Undefeated MMA star Dakota Ditcheva is on the verge of a history-making win in her PFL Europe final.

The 25-year-old is set to take on Valentina Scatizzi in the final of the PFL Europe Women's flyweight tournament on Friday (December 8) at the 3Arena in Dublin. A victory will not only see her improve her perfect professional record to 10-0 but will see her claim the inaugural title.

There's even more at stake including a $100,000 (£79,000) prize fund and a place in PFL's global roster where Ditcheva will have an opportunity to compete in its million-dollar tournament.

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The Manchester native has blown up in popularity since her debut in the MMA organisation in August 2022 and has gone to win her four fights in the promotion – all by stoppage.

Ditcheva was a Muay Thai champion before her move into MMA and having grown up with a mother like Lisa Howarth, who was a kickboxing world champion in her fighting days, many would have believed her daughter would make a seamless move into the sport from young.

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However, it wasn't as simple as that for Ditcheva who spoke exclusively to Daily Star Sport, and admitted there was a long stretch in her childhood when she never trained in combat sports. "When I was four years old, I had 2 or 3 fights but I completely stopped from four years old to about 12 or 13, I didn't train at all," she said.

"I don't remember whether I didn't like it and my mum wasn't ever pushy, she didn't want me to fight either. I was just always around it because she has her own gym." Ditcheva eventually ventured back into fighting as has since become a leading figure in the sport in the UK and a role model for young girls.

The pressure that it comes with could prove too much for some to handle but the Sale-born fighter said she combats it by just being her authentic self.

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"I'm just being me and that's gotten me this far and I'm a role model for a lot of girls so as long as I can keep doing that and keep being myself and making a change for these girls, I just want to be the one to keep it rolling and passing it on to the next generation."

Ditcheva is the latest MMA gem to be produced out of Manchester which continues to a breeding ground for talent including PFL 2022 featherweight champion Brendan Loughnane and interim UFC heavyweight champion Tom Aspinall.

"I'm from Manchester so I'm going to be biased but we got Brendan [Loughnane] here who won the $1million tournament, we've got me and Lerone Murphy, we've got so many people up there fighting.

"We've got so much new talent that's coming up as well, it's so crazy, something's in the air in Manchester and it's only going to get better." Ditcheva can become the latest Mancunian to wear gold with just one more obstacle in her way.

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