Why Is He on the List?
"Paul Harris" is on the list because he has improved by leaps and bounds since his UFC debut.
It is not often you see a fighter tap out high quality opponents with leg locks, but "Toquinho" does it consistently. He is also one of the strongest and most ferocious fighters at 185 pounds. Furthermore, his stand up has improved, and while he is not the most technical striker, he does throw his hands with considerable power.
The biggest and most important improvement Palhares has made in the last two years is that he has become apt at getting the fight to the mat. He has decent takedowns and pulls guard with the best of 'em.
Palhares is capable of beating any middleweight.
Does He Have a Chance?
Yes. I anticipate taking some flak for this, but I don't care: Rousimar Palhares will win the UFC middleweight championship this year. Early 2013 at the latest.
Against Anderson Silva, "Toquinho" would have a simple game plan: Get the fight to the ground and finish it.
The thing is, you don't get mulligans on the ground against Palhares. (Ok, Marquardt got one, but you get the point.) Dan Miller is the only guy to have gotten back up after going to the ground with the Brazilian, and he was only able to do so at the end of each round. And, he received a savage beating for his obstinacy
Dan Miller's submission defense is superior to Anderson Silva's, and I believe Palhares would submit the champion. If the champion happens to be Sonnen or Belfort when Palhares gets his turn, he'll submit them instead.
Will He Have the Chance in 2012?
Either late 2012 or early 2013.
Palhares will keep winning until he gets a shot. It is a matter of when, not if.