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Ronaldo Souza tests positive for coronavirus, pulled from UFC 249

The 40-year-old who was to fight on the preliminary card has left the UFC hotel in Jacksonville after attending the weigh-in earlier today.

Ronaldo ‘Jacare’ Souza poses on the scale during the UFC 249 official weigh-in on May 08, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC

UFC fighter Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza has tested positive for Covid-19, and his middleweight bout with Uriah Hall scheduled for UFC 249 tonight in Jacksonville, Florida has been cancelled.

Souza drove over from his home in Orlando to Jacksonville, where he was tested on Wednesday and entered the quarantine hotel being used by all fighters and staff around the event at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. He was subsequently removed from the hotel, and his fight cancelled. The rest of the UFC 249 card remains scheduled to take place.

During his weigh-in, Souza wore gloves while Hall wore gloves and a mask. When he was tested on Wednesday, according to ESPN’s Stephen A. Smith, because members of his family potentially having been infected with the coronavirus, the UFC hoped to get his test results in 24 hours from Quest Diagnostics. That ended up taking 48 hours, and Souza is now in self-quarantine off-premises.

Adam Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reports that he spoke with Florida State Athletic Commission vice-chairman Marco Lopez, who says he has no issues with the card going forward. “The system worked,” Hill quoted him as saying.