After training at ATT, Dakota Ditcheva makes her PFL debut Saturday in homeland England

·6 min read

When Kayla Harrison decides to pass the Professional Fighters League torch, new signee Dakota Ditcheva could be the one catching it.

The undefeated Harrison (14-0) is a two-time PFL champion in the women’s lightweight division. The undefeated Ditcheva (5-0) is a outstanding up-n-coming flyweight, and PFL will be adding a women’s flyweight division for the 2023 regular season.

Both train at American Top Team in (South Florida) Coconut Creek. After signing with PFL in July, the England-born Ditcheva decided to remain in America and train at the award-winning ATT.

England’s Dakota Ditcheva (fourth from left) signed with PFL to highlight the formation of PFL Europe. Training at American Top Team in South Florida, she makes her PFL debut Aug. 20 in London.
England’s Dakota Ditcheva (fourth from left) signed with PFL to highlight the formation of PFL Europe. Training at American Top Team in South Florida, she makes her PFL debut Aug. 20 in London.

Ditcheva will make her PFL debut against Morocco’s Hassna Jaber (4-1) on Aug. 20 from Copper Box Arena in London, England, not far from her origins, Sale, Greater Manchester.

Dakota Ditcheva of England signed with PFL to highlight the formation of PFL Europe. Training at American Top Team in South Florida, she makes her PFL debut Aug. 20 in London.
Dakota Ditcheva of England signed with PFL to highlight the formation of PFL Europe. Training at American Top Team in South Florida, she makes her PFL debut Aug. 20 in London.

Headlining that card on Aug. 20 on ESPN and ESPN+ is Harrison, who will fight Martina Jindrová in a PFL semifinal, dubbed PFL 9 on ESPN.

PFL 9 in London headlined by two-time PFL champ Kayla Harrison of American Top Team.
PFL 9 in London headlined by two-time PFL champ Kayla Harrison of American Top Team.

Like Harrison, Ditcheva is the real deal, and she’s just 24.

Here is my video interview with Dakota Ditcheva at American Top Team.

Ditcheva is a British Muay Thai champion and a three-time world champion. She is also an accomplished kickboxer with a 10-1 mark. Her mom, Lisa Howarth, is former World Kickboxing Association champion who amassed a 19-3-3 record with 1 no contest. Howarth inspired her daughter’s efforts in combat sports.

With PFL recently introducing PFL Europe, Ditcheva became one of the key signings.

She is part of a solid group of young fighters, training at ATT.

England’s Dakota Ditcheva (fifth from left) signed with PFL to highlight the formation of PFL Europe. Training at American Top Team in South Florida, she makes her PFL debut Aug. 20 in London.
England’s Dakota Ditcheva (fifth from left) signed with PFL to highlight the formation of PFL Europe. Training at American Top Team in South Florida, she makes her PFL debut Aug. 20 in London.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/dakotaditcheva

About PFL Europe

PFL MMA Europe will become the home to top MMA fighters from Europe competing in the proven PFL season format with all events staged live in European countries.

The 2022 PFL playoffs — in Cardiff on Aug. 13 at Motorpoint Arena and in London on Aug. 20 at Copper Box Arena -- will also host PFL Europe qualifier fights, with winners receiving PFL Europe contracts. Those victors will contend for a PFL Europe championship and a spot on the 2023 PFL regular season roster.

UK star Dakota Ditcheva and Ireland’s Will Fleury headline new talent set to compete during those PFL playoff and PFL Europe qualifier events.

More about PFL Europe

The PFL, the fastest growing and most innovative sports league in the world, announced the launch of PFL Europe, a new international league debuting in 2023.

PFL Europe events will all be staged in European countries, broadcast and streamed primetime in Europe, and feature the top emerging European MMA fighters.

PFL Europe will provide a direct avenue for the best European fighters to make it to the PFL global talent roster. PFL Europe leverages the proven sports-season format, world-class team, expert infrastructure, and trusted brand of PFL.

“I am pleased to announce the PFL will launch PFL Europe in 2023 to further advance the sport of MMA and fuel PFL’s next phase of global expansion starting in Europe, the number one international MMA growth region,“ PFL CEO Peter Murray said in a release. “Europe is rich with top fighters who are ready to compete in the PFL’s season format on a major stage and passionate MMA fans throughout the region will now have access to premium events staged in Europe.”

Top fighters from Europe will compete on the August 13 Cardiff show and August 20 London card, in hopes of earning a contract in PFL Europe.

British star Dakota Ditcheva, Ireland’s Will Fleury, Italy’s Francesco Nuzzi and Scotland’s Louie Sutherland are a few to watch, especially Ditcheva.

Ditcheva is a Muay Thai specialist who, at just 23, has already captured three world championships and been named the Daily Mirror’s Young Sportsperson of the Year. She has a perfect professional MMA record of 5-0 with four of those wins coming by knockout. She will look to continue her ascent to the top of the women’s flyweight division when she takes on Morocco’s Hassna Jaber in London on Aug. 20.

PFL is expected to add a women’s flyweight division for the 2023 regular season.

Ireland’s Will Fleury is the UAE Warriors middleweight champion, and he will make the move up to light heavyweight for his PFL debut on Aug. 13 in Cardiff. The John Kavanagh disciple trains out of SBG Ireland, the home of Conor McGregor, and he enters the bout on a three-fight winning streak. He’ll face top Norwegian light heavyweight Kenneth Bergh who brings an impressive 9-1 record, including eight stoppage wins, into his PFL debut.

Francesco Nuzzi has earned his position as a top bantamweight prospect on the strength of eight consecutive wins, which has run his record to an impressive 9-1. He will look to make make the jump to PFL Europe when he fights veteran French fighter Mokhtar Benkaci (20-7) on Aug. 13. Benkaci enters on a six-fight winning streak of his own and will look to keep his PFL Europe dreams alive with a win over Nuzzi.

The “Vanilla Gorilla” Louie Sutherland has had the kind of start to his career that all fighters dream of. Four wins, all by first round knockout, have the London-based Scot primed for big things in the sport. He’ll have a stiff test in London-born, Manchester-based Abraham Bably (1-0) who will be making his second professional start after a stellar amateur career that saw him go 4-0 with four knockouts. With a TKO win in his pro debut last December, Bably, like Sutherland, has never been to the scorecards in his career.

“It has been an extremely rewarding experience putting together PFL Europe qualifier fights alongside our partners at Live Nation,” Ray Sefo, PFL President of Fighter Operations, said in a release. “PFL is about opportunity, and we are proud of the opportunity we are providing fighters across Europe. I can’t wait to get to work on the first season of PFL Europe.”

PFLmma.com; Instagram (@PFLmma); Twitter (@PFLMMA); Facebook (/PFLmma)

PFL Europe Qualifier Fights - London (Aug. 20)

Dakota Ditcheva (UK) vs. Hassna Jaber (Morocco)

Louie Sutherland (UK) vs. Abraham Bably (UK)

Tayo Odunjo (UK) vs. Magnus Iversen (Norway)

Ali Taleb (Sweden) vs. Kenji Bortoluzzi (Switzerland)

PFL Europe Qualifier Fights - Cardiff (Aug. 13)

Will Fleury (Ireland) d. Anthony Salamone (France)

Radu Maxim (Italy) d. Vojto Barborik (Slovakia)

Mokhtar Benkaci (France) d. Francesco Nuzzi (Italy)

Nathan Kelly (Ireland) d. Ben Ellis (Wales)

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