Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza, along with members of his corner, has tested positive for coronavirus. Souza was scheduled to face Uriah Hall at UFC 249 Saturday night from Jacksonville, Florida.
The two fighters successfully weighed in on Friday and faced off in front of UFC president Dana White before the news was first reported. Souza and the others were removed from the fighter hotel.
Despite the positive test results, the event will go on with Tony Ferguson meeting Justin Gaethje in the main event for the interim UFC lightweight title.
"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," the UFC said in a statement. "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."
The statement also noted that "there have been no other positive COVID-19 tests reported from the remaining athletes" and that the "response to this development is indicative of the effectiveness of the health and safety measures UFC has put in place for this event."