UFC 249 is being billed as one of the most controversial sporting events of the year given that it’s the only sporting event taking place amidst a global pandemic.
Dana White was already sceptical about cancelling events as he tried in vain to not let Khabib Nurmagomedov versus Tony Ferguson fall through for the fifth time.
Another day in Florida complete! 🌴
— UFC (@ufc) May 9, 2020
Eventually, it did as the card, scheduled for April 18, was cancelled. However, UFC 249 will finally go ahead this evening in Jacksonville, Florida with Ferguson facing Justin Gaethje for the interim-lightweight title while Henry Cejudo defends his bantamweight title against veteran Dominick Cruz.
However, the event was thrown into disrepute just 24 hours before fight night as Brazilian legend Jacare Souza, as well as two of his cornermen, tested positive for Covid-19.
The UFC released this statement earlier today:
“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.
“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.
“From their arrival earlier in the week until their departure today, Souza and his cornermen followed UFC health and safety protocols, including practicing social distancing, wearing personnel protective equipment, and self-isolating whenever possible.”
Now, White has had his say claiming that Souza’s positive test is a clear sign that the system being used by the UFC and the Florida State Athletic Commission works.
“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.”