Despite her spotless professional MMA record, Dakota Ditcheva admits she has struggled to believe in her abilities as a fighter.
The 24-year-old flyweight is now two fights into her PFL journey after a vicious first-round knockout of Katherine Corogenes on the prelims of 2022 PFL Championships at Madison Square Garden. Ditcheva (7-0) has finished both of her PFL opponents in the first round, but revealed she has had to learn how to trust in what she can do inside the cage.
“I feel like I struggle sometimes believing in myself,” Ditcheva told reporters at the post-fight news conference (via MMA Sucka). “Like, you see me winning all the time, but it’s not about winning, it’s about believing in my ability. I feel like going over to ATT (American Top Team) and being around a team that is such high-level, and as soon as I walked in that gym, every coach in that gym believed in my abilities and what I could do.
“I’ve really got to a point now where I’m not just listening to my coaches say like, ‘You’re really good.’ Basically, you can make it to the top. It doesn’t matter how many people tell me that until I’ve got it inside myself. Like, I’ve still got the same bit of doubt in myself. … To go out there and get a win like that and be able to show myself, like I’m not doing it for anyone else. I’m doing it because I want to prove to myself, that I am worthy of being here.”
Already living up to her nickname “Dangerous” with six finishes in seven pro fights, Ditcheva has the potential to be a strong force in the PFL as her confidence continues to grow, and the internal questions subside.
The only external question going forward will be how the PFL plans to promote her as it does not currently host a women’s flyweight division in its regular season format.
For more on the card, visit MMA Junkie’s event hub for 2022 PFL Championships.