Ultimate Fighting Championship star Ronaldo “Jacaré” Souza will not take part in the UFC 249 preliminary match against Uriah Hall after he and his two cornermen tested positive for COVID-19. UFC 249 is set to be the first major North American sport to return amid the coronavirus pandemic and will be broadcast to a sports-hungry audience Saturday evening from a nearly empty arena in Jacksonville, Florida. UFC chairman Dana White had tried to hold the event, originally scheduled for April in California and New York before finally settling on Florida, where COVID-19 restrictions have been partially lifted.
UFC’s medical team says the three men are asymptomatic but tested positive as part of precautionary testing measures ahead of Saturday’s event. “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,” UFC said in a statement.