Breaking: Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza tests positive for COVID-19; Fight at UFC 249 called off
- Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of his middleweight bout against Uriah Hall at UFC 249
- The news about Souza testing positive couldn't have come at a worse time as UFC 249 is just one day away
It seems like UFC president Dana White's worst fears have come true as Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza has tested positive for COVID-19 ahead of his middleweight bout against Uriah Hall at UFC 249. The news about Ronaldo Jacare Souza testing positive couldn't have come at a worse time as UFC 249 is just one day away.
The promotion's decision to hold events during the ongoing pandemic drew backlash from multiple mainstream media outlets and White was criticized for not ensuring the safety of his fighters and other employees and Souza's news will surely aide that side of the debate.
Souza out of UFC 249
ESPN journalist confirmed the news on Twitter and stated that though Souza's fight against Hall stands canceled, the event is still on and the other fighters on the card have all tested negative for the coronavirus. Helwani further reported that Souza has left the hotel where the fighters are staying.
Regardless of whether other fighters or staff are affected by the disease, the news about Souza proves that the decision to hold events amid an ongoing pandemic does pose a huge threat to the safety of the fighters as well as their families.
Just like any other combat sports organization, the UFC's business has taken major hit due to the ongoing pandemic. The promotion was forced to cancel all its scheduled events for the months of March and April. The upcoming pay-per-view UFC 249 was originally set to go down on April 18 but later had to be postponed. The main event for the PPV also underwent a major change.
Initially, reigning UFC lightweight champion Khabib Nurmagomedov was supposed to defend his title against Tony Ferguson. However, due to a case of miscommunication between UFC and Nurmagomedov, the latter got stranded in Russia due to an ongoing ban on international travel. Nurmagomedov has now been replaced by Justin Gaethje.