DAKOTA DITCHEVA amazingly went from coaching kids in her gym to training alongside Jorge Masivdal and Dustin Poirier in the space of a week.

Ditcheva, a British Muay Thai champion from Manchester, has recently signed a two-year deal with the Professional Fighters League.

@dakotaad_Dakota Ditcheva has signed for the Professional Fighters League[/caption]

Dustin Poirier pictured with training partner Jorge Masvidal

And after penning the major deal, the 5-0 flyweight took a trip around America to take her training to the next level.

Despite stops in California and Las Vegas, Ditcheva settled in at the world famous American Top Team in Florida.

It formerly homed to UFC champion Amanda Nunes, while double Olympic gold medalist Kayla Harrison is the gym’s captain.

And the likes of Poirier and Masvidal – two of the UFC’s biggest stars – were among those to leave Ditcheva star struck on her first day.



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She told SunSport: “I was on my own the first few days, I didn’t know anyone here at all. 

“My mum and my brother came to visit but they didn’t come until like a week later. 

“It was weird because I felt like a bit of a fan, I came in and Dustin Poirier was training, Kayla was there, a couple other UFC fighters like Masvidal. 

“I felt like I was still fanning over them a bit, but to then be training on the mat was crazy. I’m kind of one of them now. 


“I feel like I have fit in well. One of the things coming over here was to see what level I’m at, pushing myself to the next stage, signing with PFL. 

“So I feel the timing of it was perfect.” 

Ditcheva, 23, has top sponsors behind her, such as Gym King and Love Hemp, which enables the PFL newcomer to fight full time.

Although she does help out with coaching at her mum Lisa’s gym, working with kids as young as three all the way up to adults.

So it marked a stark contrast when Ditcheva found herself training alongside MMA’s best just seven days later.

It was weird because I felt like a bit of a fan, I came in and Dustin Poirier was training, Kayla was there, a couple other UFC fighters like Masvidal. 

Dakota Ditcheva on her first day at American Top Team

She said: “I was still coaching, I still do work I suppose. I coach and teach between my training, which is obviously not always the best. 

“It’s tiring holding pads as well as training. I was like getting up, training in the morning, teaching and then going back to training. 

“That was one of the reasons why I stayed out here, I can just focus on training. I didn’t want this opportunity to pass. 

“Being my debut on PFL, I wanted everything to be focussed on just me.”

The PFL format consists of a two-bout regular season, where points are earned per method of victory.

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Then, the top four in each weight division progresses through to a semis and final format, with eventual victors winning a $1million prize cheque.

Ditcheva will make her PFL debut on August 27 at the Copper Box in London, on the undercard of the last semi-final of the season.

She hopes to fight in the $1m-winning league in 2024, when more flyweight contenders are recruited.

@dakotaad_Dakota Ditcheva has joined American Top Team in Florida[/caption]

@dakotaad_Dakota Ditcheva makes her PFL debut on August 20[/caption]

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