"Davis is intimidated," Evans said, in comments released by the UFC. "I've seen him around and he's not looking too confident. He's not ready for this level, and he knows it. He's coming to put up a good show, go back down a level, and come back again in a year or two. He's not coming to take it to me, but I am gonna' take it to him. After I had my year off (with injury) I came back with the attitude of never, ever leaving it up to the judges and just throwing hands all the time. That's the way my career is going to go, and that's how I am going to."
Evans wouldn't stop there, either, moving on to say Davis isn't truly a fighter, and simply won't be able to handle what he'll present on Saturday.
"Phil is just a nice guy," Evans said. "He's not a fighter. He's an athlete, a great athlete, but not a fighter. He has no killer instinct for this and he's got no experience at this level. He's never fought at heavyweight like I had to (in TUF 2) to get into the UFC. He didn't get punched by Chuck Liddell and Rampage Jackson like I did. He's not had to dig deep at all."
"He's in deep water, and I'm the shark."
Penick's Analysis: Evans is partially on point on the fighter/athlete discussion about Davis. Davis is immensely talented, but he hasn't gone through a gritty battle in the cage yet to see what he's capable of on that front. He might get that against Evans, and he might be able to battle through it, but he's certainly unproven on that front. I doubt he's intimidated by Evans, and Evans does like to talk in order to pump himself up - as well as the fight - but Davis will need to be at his best in order to upset the former Champ on Saturday night.
[Rashad Evans art by Grant Gould (c) MMATorch.com]