The surging light-heavyweight is scheduled to meet ‘Lil Nog' in one of the feature fights on the UFC on FOX 12 main card. Johnson admits that while Nogueira could very well show signs of fatigue during the match, he is not prepared to take that risk.
"He is still dangerous," Johnson told MMAFighting.com's Ariel Helwani. "People were saying the same thing about Randy Couture and he fought till he was like 44. Age is just a number. Father time does have his moments but Nogueira is still tough and dangerous."
Johnson, who is in his second stint with the promotion, spent a portion of his training camp at Muhammad Ali's old facility just to draw some inspiration ahead of the contest on Saturday night. According to Johnson, it was as much a mental exercise as it was a physical one.
"I mean it is Muhammad Ali. That is my favourite boxer of all time - him and Mike Tyson. Why wouldn't I want to go to a place of history like that? It is just inspiration. I actually want to run the trail that he used to run. I just want to see how it feels."
One of the biggest stories in MMA this week has been the UFC 178 main event switch, as light-heavyweight champion Jon Jon will now meet Daniel Cormier after Alexander Gustafsson injured his knee during training camp. While Johnson wouldn't predict the outcome of the match, he wishes both competitors the best of luck until it is his turn to try his hand at the title.
"I haven't thought about it. I'm just focusing on ‘Lil Nog'. I didn't even know about it until they told me in an interview yesterday, which shows you how much I pay attention to the media and stuff. I wish the best of luck to both guys."