UFC 249 will take place on May 9, but there will be one fewer fight on the card than originally planned. The middleweight bout between Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza and Uriah Hall was pulled late on Friday night after word got out that Souza, along with two of his cornermen, tested positive for COVID-19. All three are, as of Friday, asymptomatic.
“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,” the UFC said in a statement, according to ESPN. “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.”
Hall took to social media after the news dropped and wished Souza well.
@JacareMMA 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.
— U R I A H H A L L (@UriahHallMMA) May 9, 2020
The event is slated to take place in Jacksonville, and Souza, a native of Brazil, drove up from his home in Florida. When he arrived on Wednesday, he mentioned that a family member may have come in contact with someone who had a confirmed case of COVID-19, and soon after, he was tested. Several hours after going through weigh-ins on Friday, where Souza wore a mask and gloves before participating in a distanced stare down with Hall, the word came in about his positive test.
According to the UFC, the other 23 fighters on the card tested negative. UFC 249’s preliminary card will begin at 6 p.m. on ESPN before moving to ESPN+ for its main card at 10 p.m. The event will be headlined by a lightweight bout between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje.