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Chris Weidman: Luke Rockhold 'not great anywhere;' Jacare Souza 'more dangerous'

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Esther Lin

Is Luke Rockhold next for undefeated UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman? Or should Ronaldo ‘Jacare' Souza get the next title shot?

Rockhold and Souza are the leading candidates to meet Weidman after the champion dispatched of Vitor Belfort on Saturday night at UFC 187.

And while there's more public clamor for a Weidman-Rockhold matchup after Rockhold's impressive win over Lyoto Machida last month, Weidman says he can see the strengths and weaknesses in both competitors.

"I would expect a tough fighter, but I'm running right through any of these guys," Weidman said on Monday's edition of The MMA Hour. "[Rockhold]'s well rounded, but he's not great anywhere. He's not the best striker I've ever fought, he's not the best jiu-jitsu guy I ever fought. Jacare brings a different element, he's really good on the ground and he's probably more dangerous on the feet than Rockhold. Rockhold is well-rounded and keeps a good solid pace going throughout the whole fight. They are two completely different fighters. If I was to say who was more dangerous, it would probably be Jacare, but there are probably more holes in his game than Rockhold."

When pressed, though, Weidman won't pick a preference for one potential opponent over the other.

"I don't know, I don't really have a preference," he said. "Either way I'm going to have to fight these guys at some point, and let them know they have no chance with me. I love their attitudes. I'm, as a competitor, just going to show them the truth. As far as who, it doesn't really matter. I want big fights, both of them know that. I want big fights, they want big fights."

As for when Weidman will fight next? The champ has his heart set on fighting in Madison Square Garden. The UFC has MSG booked for Dec. 5, but that's pending the New York state government legalize the sport before the current legislative session ends in June.

So for now, Weidman is taking a wait-and-see attitude.

"I want to return as soon as possible," he said. "Fighting in May was great, so now I have June, July, I'd like to enjoy the summer a little bit with my family. Other than that, I want to keep on going. I want to separate myself from these guys. Every time you get done with a fight, there's another guy. That excites me, to let these guys know the truth."