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Jon Jones remains on the sidelines due to his latest USADA flag, but according to Yoel Romero, “Bones” has still made a big impact in the Octagon this year…How so?

Romero returned to the cage last month at UFC 221, and proceeded to take out Luke Rockhold in the third round. In doing so, Romero has locked up a bout with middleweight champ Robert Whittaker, who scored a decision win over him last July.

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Well, recently Romero was a guest on Joe Rogan’s podcast, and of course, the powerful wrestler discussed his jaw dropping win over Rockhold. While doing so, Romero had this to say about Jones (quote via MMA Fighting):

“After the [Whittaker] fight, my manager said that when he saw me I had a big smile on my face,” said Romero. “I was very happy. I didn’t take that loss as serious as I should have. [I was happy because] I learned. And now you see what happened with Luke Rockhold. I learned about timing.

“Listen, people talk about my ‘gas’ but it wasn’t easy to fight Luke Rockhold. I went to Albuquerque with Jon Jones and I learned something. They controlled my attacks, so I learned when to attack. If you go, go, go, you will get tired. So I had to learn to pace myself. I don’t have a problem with five rounds now.”

Romero did control his pace quite well in the Rockhold fight, and in round three, he did look pretty fresh. So, if you’re a top tier middleweight in the UFC, this news might be a wee bit stressful for you.

Now it will be interesting to see if Romero can duplicate this in his rematch with Whittaker. The latter took Romero into the deep waters at UFC 213, and come out on top. Can Romero still control his attacks? Or might the pressure of fighting for the belt throw him off? Or the eagerness to avenge his loss? We shall see.

Speaking of the Whittaker rematch, Romero also reportedly relayed on the show that it’s taking place June 9th at UFC 225.