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UFC releases statement after ‘Jacare’ tests positive for Covid-19

✔ High-stakes middleweight bout cancelled due to Covid-19 ✔ "Jacare" Souza has lost three out of four last bouts

UFC 249 has been affected by the Coronvirus. It became official tonight, that middleweight contender Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza had tested positive for Covid-19. He was scheduled to face striker Uriah Hall on the preliminary card in a pivotal bout for the division, which has now been cancelled.

Following the news, the UFC released a statement on the issue.

“The middleweight bout between Uriah Hall and Jacare Souza will no longer be on the UFC 249 preliminary card due to one of Souza’s COVID-19 tests indication a positive result,” the statement read. “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.”

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“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 personal protective equipment and self isolating whenever possible. There have been no other positive COVID-19 tests reported from the remaining athletes participating at UFC 249. The response to this development is indicative of the effectiveness of the health and safety measures the UFC has put in place for this event.”

While the UFC maintain that proper isolation methods have been taken, there is a risk that other fights and UFC staff have been infected. In a video released by UFC heavyweight Fabricio Werdum, “Jacare” can be seen standing very close to a large group of people, risking the spread of Covid-19.

The bout against Hall was an important one for Souza. He has remained at the top of the middleweight division since entering the UFC and has neared a title shot time and time again. He has, however, come up short in the most critical of fights. As of now, he has lost three out of his last four bouts. Following a controversial split decision loss to Kelvin Gastelum, he knocked out former middleweight champ Chris Weidman before losing to Swede Jack Hermansson in a big upset. “Jacare” then moved up to light heavyweight, facing Jan Blachowicz, losing a clear-cut decision.

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With roots in muay thai and as an avid combat sports fan, Sebastian Vendel-Martinez grew up while the MMA scene was blossoming in Sweden. He became part of the MMAnytt team in 2012 and has gone on to become one of the most prominent MMA reporters in Scandinavia. Currently he continues to work as a writer, reporter, video producer/editor and head editor for MMAnytt.com