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PFL star Dakota Ditcheva confident she can beat Alexa Grasso or Valentina Shevchenko for UFC title

Dakota Ditcheva might be the future of the flyweight division. But if you ask her, she’s the present.

The undefeated Englishwoman has already captured a PFL Europe title and now seeks to add a 2024 PFL championship—and its $1 million prize—to her list of accolades. In 11 pro bouts, Ditcheva has been a wrecking machine with just one of her fights going the distance.

Inevitably, fans will want to know if the 25-year-old Ditcheva plans to ever challenge some of the bigger names in the UFC, such as Alexa Grasso and Valentina Shevchenko. Asked about those matchups on The MMA Hour, Ditcheva didn’t blink.

“I could have the title if I went there,” Ditcheva said. “Yeah, I think I could [beat Grasso and Shevchenko]. I definitely think I’d be up there.”

So far, Ditcheva has impressed against lesser known competition, with her most recent win against Lisa Mauldin ending in under four minutes. The rest of the 2024 flyweight tournament roster includes several veteran names, including Bellator champion Liz Carmouche and one-time UFC title challenger Taila Santos (who lost a razor-close decision to Shevchenko at UFC 275).

Ditcheva hopes to take on the league newcomers and silence the doubters.

“I think we’ll see that when I win this season now and I can say I beat someone like Liz Carmouche and Taila Santos,” Ditcheva said. “As soon as I’ve beat them, what else can people expect other than greatness for the rest of the year?”

“You’ve got to be like that and it’s about time that I actually believe in what I can do,” Ditcheva added. “People say to me, ‘She’s not fought this person, she’s not fought that person’ or they say to me, ‘She’s running through all these girls because they’re not very good.’ But if you put these girls against other people, they have close fights. Whereas when you put them with me, I finish them early, so I make it look easy sometimes.”

When or if Ditcheva gets her chance to take on the likes of Grasso, Shevchenko, or any other fighter on the UFC’s talented flyweight roster is anybody’s guess, but it won’t be happening anytime soon as long as she continues to dominate her competition in the PFL.

Ditcheva mentioned that as long as she’s winning tournaments, she doesn’t expect to fight elsewhere, but she trusts the league to do right by her.

“With the tournament now, I know I’m going to win this tournament, and that automatically puts me into another year anyway,” Ditcheva said. “If I keep winning the tournament, I’m going to be here making my money and cashing all the checks.”

“I think there’s probably—I’m not 100 percent sure so I can’t comment, but I would like to win the tournament and then they’ve got loads of opportunities going on,” Ditcheva added. “It would be good to fight on a champ vs. champ card or even box if they were to do that. I don’t want to just stay in the States all the time, I want to be able to move around and try different things. I feel like they’re bringing the opportunities now. They’re involved in so many different things.

“I’ll win this tournament. If I go into another one next year, that’s fine, but if they come up with some other ideas I’m happy to do those as well.”

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