ESPN has reported that UFC middleweight Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza has tested positive for the coronavirus and his fight at UFC 249 is off but the event is on.
The UFC confirmed that Souza had tested positive for the coronavirus and added that two of his cornermen had also tested positive. The promotion issued the following statement on Friday night:
The middleweight bout between Uriah Hall vs Jacaré Souza will no longer be on the UFC 249 preliminary card due to one of Souza’s COVID-19 tests indicating a positive result.
In addition, COVID-19 tests for Souza’s two cornermen were also flagged as positive. UFC’s medical team examined Souza and his two cornermen and found them to be currently asymptomatic, or not exhibiting the common symptoms of COVID-19. As per UFC’s health and safety protocols, all three men have left the host hotel and will be self-isolating off premises, where UFC’s medical team will monitor their conditions remotely and will provide assistance with any necessary treatment.
From their arrival earlier in the week until their departure today, Souza and his cornermen followed UFC health and safety protocols, including practicing social distancing, wearing personnel protective equipment, and self-isolating whenever possible.
There have been no other positive COVID-19 tests reported from the remaining athletes participating in UFC 249.
The response to this development is indicative of the effectiveness of the health and safety measures UFC has put in place for this event.
According to ESPN’s report, Souza arrived in Jacksonville on Wednesday and informed UFC officials that a family member had tested positive for the coronavirus.
Souza did not display symptoms and went through the testing procedures that all fighters, cornermen, and other staff and people associated with the event had to undergo.
The results came back Friday after Souza had taken part in the weigh-in where he appeared wearing a mask and gloves.
Ariel Helwani added that the other 23 fighters on the card have tested negative for the coronavirus.
Souza was scheduled to fight Uriah Hall on the preliminary card Saturday night and successfully made weight for the fight on Friday morning.