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UFC Star Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza Tests Positive For Coronavirus And Is Off UFC 249

UFC Star Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza Tests Positive For Coronavirus And Is Off UFC 249

Ronaldo 'Jacare' Souza has tested positive for coronavirus and has been pulled from tonight's UFC 249 show as a result.

Souza was set to take on Uriah Hall in a preliminary bout in Jacksonville, Florida, but he has immediately been pulled from the line-up after he and two corner men received tests.

The show, which will be main evented by Tony Ferguson vs Justin Gaethje, is still scheduled to take place as planned.

Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA
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"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," a statement from the UFC read per MMA Fighting.

"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 president Dana White also commented on the middleweight's diagnosis, explaining: "We administered 1,200 tests this week, on 300 people.

"It's not unexpected one person would test positive. The system works.

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Image Credit: PA
Image Credit: PA

"And what's good about this, is now we know Jacare tested positive, he's doing what he needs to do and we're in a position to help him if he needs it."

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UFC officials decided to run the show as planned after discussions with the Florida State Boxing Commission.

40-year-old Souza drove to Jacksonville on Wednesday and informed UFC officials a member of his family could have been infected with the virus.

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He participated in the weigh-in for his fight with Hall before receiving his test results and wore a mask and gloves for the showdown.

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It's believed Souza and his corner men are currently asymptomatic, meaning they aren't showing symptoms at this time.

Souza spoke to ESPN Brasil during fight week and discussed how it's felt preparing for a fight in these uncertain times.

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"I am afraid to do everything, even to go to the supermarket," he said per ESPN. "But there is something I have to do, there is no escape. I prefer to work and take the risk because these are things we will have to do. But we are very concerned with this business. It is very serious, there are many people dying, it is complicated and sad."

Hall took to Twitter to give his best wishes to Souza and express his sadness at the fight cancellation.

He posted: "Brother I know it sucks I'm sorry you have to go through this I am beyond devastated for the missed opportunity I wish you nothing but recovery for you and your family."

Topics: UFC News, MMA News, Coronavirus, UFC, MMA, UFC 249

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Daniel Marland

Daniel is a freelance journalist for SPORTbible and covers a variety of sports. He also has past experience of working at Manchester United and once locked eyes with Jose Mourinho. He lived to tell the tale.