"I see me knocking him out in the first round. I know he's a tough guy, and I'm a fan of his...but I feel I match up very well with him," Johnson said who also cited his height and reach to be deciding factors in their fight.
Johnson, a veteran of Strikeforce and the WEC, debuted with the UFC at UFC on Fox 2. Coming into the promotion on the heels of a two fight losing streak, Johnson had a lot to prove and faced a stiff challenge in Joey Beltran.
"With Beltran, I knew that I was a better athlete than him, so it was just a matter of time before I landed on him. That's how I like to fight, and I know that's what the fans like. I like to stand in there, and bang with whoever is in front of me. If I get knocked out, I get knocked out," Johnson said.
Johnson went on to win in his UFC debut as well as handing Beltran his first KO loss of his career by the way of first round knockout from punches.
Johnson's upcoming opponent, Barry, similarly rebounded from a two fight skid. Barry last fought at UFC on FX: Guillard vs. Miller and KO'ed heavyweight young gun, Christian Morecraft, in the opening round. Barry is now 2-2 over his last four fights.
With Johnson's knack for striking and Barry's K-1 pedigree, this matchup has slug-fest written all over it. So is there any chance for some grappling? Not likely says Johnson.
"Not gonna happen. I see him trying to take me down. He said he's not going to cut his hair until he gets a submission, so it looks like he's going to be having a ponytail for a little bit," Johnson said.
Who will be victorious and move one step closer to becoming an elite heavyweight? Johnson vs. Barry will be the first bout on the main card at UFC on Fox 3 set for May 5 at the IZOD Center in East Rutherford, New Jersey.