Tomorrow night, at UAE Warriors 28: International, the undefeated Dakota Ditcheva (4-0) makes her UFC Fight Pass debut.
The rising star will face Brazil’s Paula Bittencourt (5-0) in a fight many are tipping as a potential UFC showdown fight with the winner taking a step closer to a callup or even possibly getting a UFC contract.
Let’s rewind a bit. Ditcheva is a former Muay Thai prodigy. Daughter of UK legend Lisa Howarth, at the age of 19 she was already a British champion, a three-time world champion, part of the British team that won the International Muay Thai World Championships, and a UK ‘Young Sportsperson of the Year’ winner.
Then in 2018, Ditcheva switched her focus to MMA around 2018/2019. Taking a wise approach to the switch, she fought in amateur MMA for the first two years and then went pro at the beginning of 2021 and hasn’t looked back going 4-0 with all stoppage victories. Most recently, in January, she competed on Canada’s first all-female fight card.
Now at 23 years old and with a good management team her, HD Fight Management who look after the likes of Marc Diakese, Robert Whiteford, Gavin Hughes and other top UK talent, Dakota has all the potential to make a big splash.
Ditcheva reflects on her young career thus far and seems very grounded in her systematic approach to her growth while also happy about the step up in competition for tomorrow night.
“My MMA journey so far has been amazing,” said Ditcheva. “Obviously, I’ve kept the clean record with all wins but what I’ve gained from it most is the experience, inside and outside the cage. I’ve fought different style fighters, strikers, and high-level grapplers, all of which have been great practice for me. I’ve been able to travel to different countries too which all helps my growth for when I get to the UFC, fingers crossed! I’ve been lucky enough to have a positive start to my career in MMA.
“I’m really looking forward to the fight. She is a very tough opponent and undefeated like me. We have both recently fought the same opponent and we both came away with wins so it’s going to be a great match, may the best girl win!”
UAE Warriors 28: International takes place this Saturday, March 26, and is part of a mega three-day triple-header of events for the promotion with UAE Warriors 27: Africa and UAE Warriors 29: Arabia going down on Friday and Sunday, respectively.
All the action takes place at the Etihad Arena on Yas Island, Abu Dhabi, and is live around the world on UFC Fight Pass.