The Nebraska-born fighter struggled at points in the fight, but a late rally from Cochrane (30-12) persuaded the judges to give him the nod over Rodrigues (21-7) in the AXS TV-televised welterweight headliner at The Ralston Arena in Omaha.
It was a gritty fight throughout the entirety of 15 minutes. Both fighters battled for takedowns, control in the clinch and heavyweight strikes from a distance. Nothing monumental landed for either side, and the first two rounds were essentially a coin toss.
The third round was going much the same way, but then in the final minute Cochrane scored a key takedown which quickly allowed him to advance to mount. He unleashed some heavy shots on Rodrigues, and although he couldn’t get the finish, it gave him a clear-cut third round, and ultimately the win.
“I knew he was tough and I appreciate everything he did,” Cochrane said in his post-fight interview. “That last round just really won over everything. I was gutting it out. I was trying as hard as I could.”
Fernando Padilla wins by slick submission
Fernando Padilla (9-1) waited for his opportunity lock in a submission in his featherweight co-headliner against Darrick Minner (19-7). When he did, he locked in a beautiful triangle-armbar combination finish.
Minner came out aggressively to start the contest, winging big strikes and attacking with takedowns. Padilla failed on his first submission attempt, but then he locked in the slick finish at the 3:10 mark of Round 1.
Complete LFA 25 results included:
- Dakota Cochrane def. Ciro Rodrigues via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Fernando Padilla def. Darrick Minner via submission (triangle-armbar combination) – Round 1, 3:10
- Kassius Holdorf def. Jordon Larson via TKO (punches) – Round 2, 0:46
- Emeka Ifekandu def. ”Missouri” Michael Graves via unanimous decision (29-28, 29-28, 30-27)
- Dwight Joseph def. Steven Merrill via unanimous decision (30-27, 30-27, 30-27)
- Matt Delanoit def. Sultan Umar via split decision (29-28, 28-29, 29-28)
- Willie Whitehead def. Duane Johnson via verbal submission (punches) – Round 3, 3:51
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Source: MMA Junkie