UFC fighter Jacare Souza has tested positive for coronavirus and will NOT participate in his scheduled fight at UFC 249 on Saturday, the UFC confirms to TMZ Sports.
The 40-year-old Brazilian was slated to fight Uriah Hall on the undercard of the massive PPV event in Jacksonville, Florida — but he tested positive during the UFC’s thorough testing process and now he’s out. We’re told he was asymptomatic.
Souza’s two cornermen also tested positive.
“UFC’s medical team examined Souza and his two cornermen and found them too be currently asymptomatic, or not exhibiting the common symptoms of COVID-19,” the UFC said in a statement.
“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.”
We spoke with UFC honcho Dana White who tells TMZ Sports, “Our process worked.”
White had spelled out the testing process on “TMZ Live” on Friday — explaining that fighters and their teams were being subjected to multiple tests every day.
We’re told the event WILL continue as planned — none of the other fighters have tested positive for COVID-19.
The UFC has already been in touch with Florida state athletic officials which are allowing the other fights to continue as planned, per ESPN.
Souza’s scheduled opponent Uriah Hall tweeted a message to Souza — saying, “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.”
“We administered 1,200 tests this week, on 300 people,” UFC president Dana White told ESPN … “It’s not unexpected one person would test positive.”
“The system works. 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.”