UFC on FOX 3 Fight Card: Is Rousimar Palhares the Most Dangerous Man in MMA?

Matt Juul@@MattchidaMMAContributor IIIMay 3, 2012

Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.
Photo by Josh Hedges/Zuffa LLC/Zuffa LLC via Getty Images.

Within the MMA fandom, the legend of Rousimar Palhares continues to grow with each leg he takes and tendon he tears.

Affectionately nicknamed "Paul Harris" by keyboard jockeys, this Brazilian middleweight powerhouse has earned a reputation as one of the best submission artists in the sport today, mostly due to his penchant for leg attacks.  

With such a brutal grappling game, Palhares has not only become a major threat in the UFC's middleweight division, but he may just be one of the most dangerous men in all of MMA.

A supremely muscled body layered on top of a stocky, 5-foot 8-inch frame, Palhares' physical attributes are a menacing omen to opponents of things to come when they step inside the Octagon across "Toquinho," his apt Portuguese moniker meaning "little tree stump."

While not a towering figure, Palhares' compact physique is perfectly designed for his style of ground fighting, highlighted by his vicious jiu-jitsu.  

It is this combination of technical precision and brute strength that makes him such a dangerous fighter.

"Toquinho"'s quick transitions, powerful takedowns and leg breaking submissions are a perfect storm for a ground specialist.

A master of the heel hook, Palhares most recently defeated fellow Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu black belt Mike Massenzio by the foot attack at UFC 143.  

The win, his sixth via heel hook, was a perfect case study on why opponents should not go to the ground with Palhares because, on the mats, there are few who can rival the 2011 ADCC silver medalist.

Tap outs may be his forte, but don't count out Palhares on his feet.  He may not have the pin-point accuracy of an Anderson Silva, but Palhares does have a wide variety of attacks in his arsenal while also possessing extremely heavy hands.

Even in his first UFC loss to former Strikeforce and Pride champ Dan Henderson, Palhares showcased a surprisingly diverse array of kicks, from spinning hook kicks to hopping side kicks.

If his skill set and physical characteristics weren't menacing enough, Palhares' mindset as a fighter may be his most dangerous asset.

A fierce competitor, Palhares refuses to give up and is willing to take an opponent's limb if they try to put up a fight–just ask Tomasz Drawl.

Like any fighter with championship aspirations, this 32-year-old Brazilian has a few areas he needs to improve on before he can be considered an all-around, pound-for-pound threat.  But with his slick ground game and powerful strikes, Palhares is well on his way to becoming one of the most dangerous fighters in the sport today.

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