UFC 249 has its first bout cancelled due to COVID-19.
Ronaldo Souza, who was scheduled to fight Uriah Hall tested positive, due to contact with an infected relative. The UFC medical team also tested Souza’s cornermen and found them to be asymptomatic.
— Helen Yee (@HelenYeeSports) May 8, 2020
Just spoke with a FL state commission official who said he is still very comfortable with UFC 249 proceeding despite the positive test. Said Jacare disclosed a recent contact with an infected relative and was isolated upon his arrival until results came back. "The system worked."
— Adam Hill (@AdamHillLVRJ) May 9, 2020
The UFC released the following statement:
“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.
Saturday’s UFC 249 card, which airs live on pay-per-view and is headlined by a battle for the interim lightweight title between No. 1-ranked lightweight contender Tony Ferguson and No. 4-ranked Justin Gaethje will proceed as scheduled with 11 bouts.”
Souza and his opponent Fabricio Werdum, both wore masks and gloves for their faceoff. They both stood unusually further than other fighters facing off and president Dana White fist-bumped both fighters.
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 249 will continue to proceed as normal with 11 bouts.