Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC
Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza has tested positive for coronavirus just 24 hours before the highly-anticipated UFC 249 card. He, and his scheduled opponent Uriah Hall, have both been removed from tomorrow’s card.
Souza had informed UFC officials that a family member of his tested positive for the virus. He was isolated, tested and the results came back positive on Friday for the middleweight fighter.
Hunter Campbell, Executive Vice President and Chief Business Officer of the UFC, told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that UFC 249 is still expected to go on as planned. The UFC discussed with the Florida state athletic commission, who said that the card can go on because the “system worked” in Souza’s case.
Souza(26-8, 1 NC) was attempting to snap a two-loss skid after being defeated in decisions to Jack Hermansson and Jan Blachowicz in 2019.
Hall(15-9) will have to wait a little bit longer to go after a three-fight win streak. He has only fought once since 2018, with his last win coming against Antonio Carlos Jr. in September of 2019.
This was the concern of many who follow and cover the UFC as Dana White chose to hold fight cards in the midst of the global pandemic. Now, with a fighter testing positive, who was asymptomatic, will more fighters in the future test positive? Will it be enough to get entire cards canceled? These are all answers that only the UFC president can answer.
With Hall versus Souza off the card, UFC 249’s preliminary fights will begin at 6:30 p.m. EST. The main card begins at 10 p.m on pay-per-view.