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Darce Side Radio: Rashad Evans believes Anthony Johnson is going to 'smash' Phil Davis at UFC 172

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Each week, "Darce Side Radio" podcast host Michael Stets shares his mixed martial arts (MMA) opinions on the latest hot topics, event previews (and reviews), key storylines and, of course, interviews many of the best fighters and personalities in the sport today. On this week's show, Stets is joined by Team Alliance grappling coach Neil Melanson, and "Sugar" Rashad Evans.

Patrick Smith

After a trip to Istanbul, Turkey, for GLORY 15 (and an interesting flight home) "Darce Side Radio" returns to for Episode 30!

UFC 172 is only a day away so this week's show features two guests who know a little something about some of fighters who will be throwing down on Saturday night (April 26, 2014) in Baltimore, Maryland (more on UFC 172 here).

First up is the head grappling coach of Team Alliance, Neil Melanson. The highly-touted ground expert joined the San Diego based camp on a full-time basis back in January and he is expecting big things out of Phil Davis at UFC 172 against Anthony Johnson in the co-main event.

Here is a sample of what he had to say about the match up.

"Phil is an outstanding grappler and his style of wrestling... he can cling on you, wear you out, break you down... He is such a brilliant hand fighter. When he is on type of guys, the way he rides, it can be really difficult unless you are used to someone with that level of wrestling on top of you. So what we have done is, I kind of took that style and linked it in with a few solid submissions, basically chaining submissions and control, so I really expect Phil to submit Anthony Johnson."

Also on the show is an interview with Rashad Evans, while was on the scene in Istanbul. "Sugar" spoke about his knee injury, his current recovery and gave some insight on the state of the 205-pound division. The former champion spoke very highly of his Blackzilian teammate Anthony Johnson, who take on Phil Davis in his UFC return.

Here is some of what Evans had to say on "Rumble:"

"AJ is going to be tough. AJ is going to be up there. I think AJ is going to be one of the best guys in the division. I think he is going to smash Phil Davis. I believe he is going to smash him. I love Phil Davis progression. I think Phil has come along and he is starting to come into his own as a fighter and starting to figure out his game a little more which has been impressive, but I think he's not ready for somebody like AJ. He is going to be too physical. AJ is going to be too strong and he hits like hard, hard. I think he is going to knock Phil out."

The audio player is embedded below (just click play). All interviews are marked for the lazy who wish to jump ahead.