Ronaldo Souza, COVID-19
Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Less than a day before UFC 249 was scheduled to return, fighter Ronaldo “J’acare” Souza has tested positive for COVID-19 and will miss his fight.

According to ESPN’s Brett Okamoto, Souza arrived in Florida on Wednesday and informed UFC’s officials that one of his family members tested positive for the coronavirus. While he showed no signs of symptoms, UFC isolated him and tested him. On Friday, the test results came back positive for COVID-19.

The 40-year-old fighter has been pulled from UFC 249 less than 24 hours before he was set to face Uriah Hall at the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena. While Souza will not be able to fight, UFC is still moving forward with its scheduled event on Saturday night.

UFC president Dana White was forced to postpone UFC 249 in April due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Florida’s decision to make athletics an essential business allowed for the event to be held this month. UFC spoke with state athletics officials in Florida, who confirmed UFC 249 could still take place on Saturday.

Matt Johnson
NFL, MLB & college football writer for Sportsnaut. Graduated from San Diego State University with BA in Journalism, 2019. Grew up in Sacramento, now based in Indianapolis. Seen on MSN. Previously: eDraft, The Connection, With the First Pick