Where does Palhares stand in the 185 division of the UFC now? He's become one of those few fighters who is associated with a certain move, and the heel hook is a devastating maneuver. Does this put Palhares into the elite tier of Middleweights?
Mazzenzio and Dan Miller aren't really elite 185-ers, but I think Toquinho needs a shot to fight some top-10 guys in the division. He's 7-2 in the UFC with his only losses coming to a well-equipped Dan Henderson and a now excommunicated Nate Marquardt.
I'd like to see him fight the loser of the Damien Maia-Michael Bisping fight at UFC on Fox 2. Maia-Palhares would be a great jiu-jitsu match and who wouldn't want to see Bisping get his leg cranked off?
I'd like to see him get a good opponent. Maia and Jacare are the only guys at MW I can see surviving for long on the ground with Palhares.
Toquinho is one of the most dangerous fighter at MW, I'd love to see a fight with Maia, it would be an epic ground matchup, I think he might fight a guy like Mayhem next though.
I wouldn't be too shocked if they just went ahead and threw him in there against the winner of Maia-Bisping. With Anderson on the shelf indefinitely these guys will have to keep busy. Thing is assuming Sonnen wins he'd be next in line and the Toquinho-Maia/Bisping bout would be a title eliminator, which might be a little premature. The loser of Maia-Bisping would get the loser of Munoz-Sonnen of course.
Another possibility for Toquinho would be the winner of Okami-Boetsch in February, although that would put him on the shelf at least until May.
I would agree with Belcher, but I think Belcher should fight Weidman instead.
Because Joe Silva usually matches up winners with winners, I don't see many top options outside of the two aforementioned fights. BUT, I think there are several intriguing options for him and others in the middleweight division if the UFC were to bring in a free agent or two. I'm sure Rockhold and Kennedy will be tied up for a bit as they square off under the Strikeforce banner, but Robbie Lawler and Jacare Souza might be available for import sooner rather than later. Toquinho would be a GREAT debut matchup for Lombard, should the UFC ever wrestle him away from Bellator. Mamed Khalidov is a finisher who should have been in the UFC long ago, along with Shlemenko. And finally now that Marquardt is a free agent, I wouldn't be too surprised if the UFC chose to bring him back; a rematch with Toquinho would serve as perfect timing for both men.
All things considered, I'm excited to seeing how this division develops while the log jam at the top clears itself out.
Give him winner of Okami vs. Boetsch
I wouldn't be that suprised, Black Chip. I think he deserves the loser of Maia-Bisping but wouldn't be too taken aback to see him get the winner of that (or even the loser of the Sonnen-Munoz Title Eliminator).
What works in Toquinho's favor is his mastery of a single move. Especially after his most recent fight & ADCC showing, Toquinho's heel hook is starting to become a thing of lore. I'd put his heel hook in the top 3 most feared grappling moves with Aoki's rubber-guard and Rousey's recently-famed armbar.
It seems like he gets sharper and sharper.. it would be intriguing to see what happened if Palhares was able to knock off an elite 185-er. I think he's put himself on the top-ten radar in a big way with this win.
I think Frank Mir's subs deserve honorable mention as some of the most feared subs in the game. First he took down Brock, then he damn near ripped Nog's arm off. I don't know about you, but I'd much rather be in Aoki's rubber guard than in any submission administered by Mir.
I doubt the UFC is excited about any possibility of crazy man Paul Harris possibly shredding ACL's of some of their cash cows.