Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza tests positive for COVID-19

JACKSONVILLE, FLORIDA - MAY 08: (L-R) Opponents Uriah Hall of Jamaica and Jacare Souza of Brazil face off during the UFC 249 official weigh-in on May 08, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

UFC veteran Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has tested positive for COVID-19. As a result, his fight with Uriah Hall at UFC 249 has been canceled. Two of his cornermen have also tested positive. According to Ariel Helwani, all other fighters on the UFC 249 card have tested negative for COVID-19. Currently, all of the other fights at UFC 249 are scheduled to go ahead.

Background – Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza

Souza, a former Strikeforce middleweight champion, was moving back down to middleweight after an unsuccessful move to light heavyweight. He lost a split decision to Jan Blachowicz at UFC Fight Night 164.

The 40-year-old Brazilan, mentioned earlier that he was reluctant to fight but did so for fear of falling behind on the mortgage on his house.

The UFC has not yet announced as to whether he or Hall will be paid their show money as both successfully made weight yesterday.

Situation

This is not an ideal situation for either fighter. Uriah Hall sent out a heartfelt message on Twitter regarding his fight with Jacare.

UFC welterweight Gilbert “Durinho” Burns who is already in Florida stepped up and offered to fight Hall. “Durinho” is coming off of a stoppage of Demian Maia. Burns was booked to fight former welterweight champion Tyron Woodley next week. Burns, like all UFC fighters that are currently in Florida, has already been tested for COVID-19.

There has been controversy caused by this positive test. This is because Souza had disclosed his contact with an infected relative prior to his arrival.  “Jacare” drove to Jacksonville, where the fight is taking place, rather than taking a plane. In addition, he had been training in isolation with a small team in the run-up to the card.  However, despite being isolated, Souza still made contact with several other UFC personnel, including being close to UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum and fist-bumping UFC CEO Dana White.

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