PFL 4’s Dakota Ditcheva Not Focused on Would-Be Opponents: I Don’t Get to Choose Who I Fight”

Uncasville, CT — Ahead of Thursday’s PFL 4 card in Uncasville, CT, there’s been more talk about who Dakota Ditcheva isn’t fighting than who she is.

Ditcheva is paired up with Chelsea Hackett for her second fight of the season, which raised some eyebrows among fellow fighters: the #2 and #3-ranked flyweights, Taila Santos and Jena Bishop, are facing each other, while #1-ranked Ditcheva drew #7 Hackett. A lot of peers and fans would like to see Ditcheva, a budding star for the PFL, paired up with the likes of Santos or Liz Carmouche, but Dakota herself isn’t focusing on what she can’t control.

“I’m in a tournament where I don’t get to choose who I fight. So for me, I don’t even stress about all that,” Ditcheva (11-0) told Cageside Press this week. “If someone asks me about it, I’ll answer it. But I’m not really focusing on the next fight. Right now, Chelsea Hackett is the person that I need to beat to even think about any of them. So that’s kind of the one person that I’ve been focusing on.”

When it comes to Hackett, meanwhile, “I’ve heard she’s a great striker, so I’m looking forward to maybe having a great striking match with her,” Ditcheva observed. “If she wants to go to the floor, like ground game match, then whatever. I’m just looking forward to getting in and fighting again. It’s been a long seven, eight weeks so I’m excited.”

The type of attention Dakota Ditcheva is now getting following an 11-0 start to her career is similar to what Kayla Harrison drew in her run up through the PFL ranks. She’s a talking point with both the media and other fighters, but at the end of the day, it has both positives and negatives.

“If PFL aren’t looking than I’d probably say I hate it, but it comes with the job,” admitted Ditcheva, asked about the attention she receives. “This is how I’m going to build my brand and become a superstar I suppose, along with the fighting as well which is most important. You’ve kind of just got to go with the flow.”

Being the face of women’s flyweight in the PFL, with all that added attention, also means more responsibilities, with media and fans for starters. More of a juggling act, though Ditcheva stressed that it’s less juggling or balancing, and more missing out on one key area.

“Sacrifice, that’s just plain what it is. I don’t juggle the time, I don’t get to see my family back home in England,” she stated. Coming off back-to-back camps with the playoffs looming, she noted she’ll be straight back to training in the U.S. after Thursday. “I don’t have that time, but that’s kind of what I’m sacrificing, that’s what happens in this sport. It’s what you have to do.”

“I knew that when I signed up for this season, I was going to have to make sacrifices. I’ve done that my whole career, even in Thai boxing.”

“It’s sad but it’s not at the same time,” Ditcheva continued. “I’m living a very good life, I’m at a promotion that supports me. I’m at a gym like American Top Team that I absolutely love. I’m enjoying every single day, but I think the family thing is the only thing I struggle with.”

Watch our full interview with PFL 4’s Dakota Ditecheva above.