“Alec Steele is a very tough fighter,” Johnson said.
“He’s not afraid to knock out the opposition.
He’s a very talented fighter, but he’s not a knockout artist.
He’ll work the whole fight.”
In Steele’s first three fights, Johnson said, he didn’t have a loss, and Steele is 4-1.
Steele has not faced anyone as well-rounded as Johnson.
The lightweight bout between Steele and Aljamain Sterling is set for Feb. 18 in Oakland, Calif.
Sterling (10-0 MMA, 6-0 UFC) had a 4-2 record with three finishes and a submission loss in the UFC’s welterweight division prior to his March 6 loss to Johnson at UFC 168.
Johnson said Sterling is an excellent fighter, and the UFC wants to get him back on track.
“I’m very excited to see Aljamains performance in this fight,” Johnson told ESPN.
“It will be a very interesting fight.
I think Aljamaine will be very impressive in this one.”
Steele is the No. 4-ranked lightweight in the world, according to UFC.com.
He is coming off a unanimous decision victory over Alexander Gustafsson in his first UFC bout.
He hasn’t faced anyone close to his level in his career, though.
In all, the UFC has eight fighters on the roster, including Johnson and Sterling.
Johnson is coming into this fight with seven wins in nine career UFC fights.
Steele, 32, has made three of his last four fights inside the Octagon.
He has been a member of the UFC for nearly 15 years, with his last win coming in 2016.
He was released in February after the organization failed to sign him to a new contract.
Stele, who is a former champion at 185 pounds, has had to adjust to the lightweight division.
Johnson has beaten him twice in his UFC career, and he is coming in with a record of 3-3.
“I don’t have to worry about his record,” Johnson added.
“I can just focus on getting back on my feet.
We’ve got a fight lined up for March.”
Johnson has won four straight fights since winning his first pro fight, but this fight would mark his first time fighting at 205 pounds since losing to Michael Bisping at UFC 185 in 2013.
Johnson lost a split decision to Bispin in his last fight.