Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has tested positive for COVID-19 just one day out from his middleweight bout with Uriah Hall at UFC 249.
ESPN first reported news of Souza’s positive test late Friday night, also sharing that the UFC had immediately scrapped Souza’s clash with Hall. However, the promotion plans to move forward with the event after every fighter but Souza tested negative for the coronavirus.
A statement released by the UFC later revealed that two of Souza’s cornerman also tested positive for COVID-19. The statement also revealed that UFC medical staff declared found Souza and his two cornermen to be “currently asymptomatic, or not exhibiting the common symptoms of COVID-19,” and that all three men had left the premises, where they would now self-isolate.
Souza’s scheduled opponent, Uriah Hall, tweeted, “Brother I know it sucks I’m sorry you have to go through this I am beyond devastated for the missed opportunity I wish you nothing but recovery for you and your family.”
Souza and Hall had previously made weight on Friday morning where they both wore masks and stared down from a relatively safe distance.
Since the announcement was made, a video from Fabricio Werdum’s Instagram story has surfaced showing that “Jacare” was in very close proximity with other fighters on Friday morning, including Werdum who is scheduled to compete at UFC 249.
This was earlier today from Werdum’s Instagram story.
“Jacare” very close with a group of people all certainly within 6 feet. pic.twitter.com/x1Dcus734G
— Danny Segura (@dannyseguratv) May 9, 2020
UFC statement on Jacare Souza
“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.”
Jake Nichols is The Body Lock's Editor in Chief. Previously, he was the MMA Editor at RealSport.