UFC 249 in Big Trouble as Fighter Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Published 05/09/2020, 12:03 AM EDT


UFC 249 has been hit by a massive sucker punch. One fighter on the card, Ronaldo Souza, has tested positive for the coronavirus. As a result, the UFC pulled him from the card and Uriah Hall will not have a fight on Saturday. Fans will be concerned about the status of the event. However, they can breathe a temporary sigh of relief.

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UFC 249 will go ahead as per schedule 

UFC executive vice president and Chief Business officer Hunter Campbell told ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith that ‘Jacare’ will not fight. However, he revealed that the event will go ahead as planned as the UFC has gotten permission from Florida state athletic officials. This is because the positive test shows that their system of repeated testing is working. 

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As per Ariel Helwani, the other 23 fighters on the card have tested negative. He also cited sources and tweeted that the Brazilian has left the hotel. 

It is unknown if these tests were conducted alongside Souza’s test or after he was tested positive. 

But the nature of the illness could lead the event to be canceled.  The 40-year-old arrived in Jacksonville 2 days before the weigh-ins. As per Stephen A. Smith’s report, he informed officials that a member of his family may have tested positive. However, he displayed no symptoms, and the UFC placed him and all the other fighters in isolation.

‘Jacare’ appeared in close proximity to Hall as well as UFC President Dana White. However, the fighters wore masks and kept a rather large distance at the faceoff. There was no fist-bumping with Dana White either. 

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UFC 249: How Did Fighters Practice Social Distancing During the Weigh-ins and Face-offs?

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The event is under 24 hours away and fighters will continue to get tested regularly. Fans will keep their fingers crossed that no other fight is canceled, or worse, the event sees an eleventh-hour cancelation.

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Reubyn Coutinho

1008 articles

Reubyn Coutinho is a Combat Sports editor at EssentiallySports with over 2 years of journalistic experience. Having earned his bachelor's degree in Mass Media with a specialization in Journalism from Xavier's College, Reubyn has interned with the sports desks at DNA and Times Now before joining EssentiallySports to further his passion for sports content. Reubyn has interviewed former UFC champions like 'Mighty Mouse' Demetrious Johnson and Miesha Tate.

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