Dakota Ditcheva: 'Joanna Jedrzejczyk was my idol, now she's my teammate!'

  • Tom Ward
Dakota Ditcheva grew up idolising Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Teammates with Jorge Masvidal and Dustin Poirier, an adrenaline junkie who loves her food and the daughter of a former kickboxing champion.

Life looks pretty good for Dakota Ditcheva, one of Britain’s top MMA prospects… otherwise known as ‘Dangerous.’

The 24-year-old – who was born and raised in Manchester – recently signed an exclusive multi-fight deal with the PFL, or Professional Fighters League, after beating Hassna Gaber on her debut back in August.

She joins a growing roster of talent which includes the likes of fellow Brits Brendan Loughnane, Simeon Powell and Stevie Ray.

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And Ditcheva, who is currently based in the UK, spends a large chunk of her time training in the US at American Top Team in Florida with iconic names such as Poirier – who beat UFC superstar Conor McGregor twice last year – and BMF champion Masvidal.

She also counts Joanna Jedrzejczyk as one of her teammates too, something which she admits she still can’t quite believe having idolised her as a child growing up.

Dakota Ditcheva praises Joanna Jedrzejczyk

Dakota Ditcheva can call Joanna Jedrzejczyk one of her teammates
Dakota Ditcheva can call Joanna Jedrzejczyk one of her teammates

“You know what’s crazy, Joanna was my idol, now she’s my teammate,” said Ditcheva in an exclusive interview with GiveMeSport. “She’s always been one of my favourite fighters. She came from a striking background like I have so I’ve always watched her fights and stuff. I’m hoping fingers crossed she’s not done yet.

“I hope she does come back because I know a lot of fighters do say that they’re done and some of them do come back after a few years they can’t stay away. So I’m hoping she’s going to give us one last show because she’s definitely one of my favourites for sure.

“Us fighters like we can’t stay away like we need something else. I think a lot of people think they can retire and then they have a few months off and they end up missing that adrenaline and buzz that they get from this. It’s really hard to give that up.”

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Dakota Ditcheva sets her sights on the million dollar prize money

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Fresh off the back of her highly successful debut, Ditcheva is eyeing a return to action before the end of the year.

She may only be six fights into her professional career, but she already has big plans for the future – starting with a million pounds in her bank account.

“I definitely want the PFL to do a flyweight tournament,” she added. “I’d love to do that. Who doesn’t want to win a million dollars? Like I’ve always said back when I was an amateur I won the world championships and fighting quite a few times in a small space of time was what really helped me progress as an athlete.

“I think that’s when I really bring the best out of myself when I keep busy. So I feel like I really want to try that. I know it’s obviously tougher than it looks fighting every four weeks but I would love to challenge myself in that environment.

“Obviously, a million pounds wouldn’t look too bad in my bank account. That would help too. But yeah, that’s definitely my plan for now is to stick with the PFL, and just get that belt and get that million pounds.”

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