It seems that Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza did not practice social distancing all the time during the preparation of UFC 249 later this evening (Saturday May 9, 2020) live on ESPN + from inside the VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena from Jacksonville, Florida.
Souza, who tested positive for coronavirus Friday night with two of his Cornerman and then pulled out of his UFC 249 middleweight fight with Uriah Hall, has been in Jacksonville since Wednesday. “Jacare” reportedly informed the UFC when he arrived that one of his family members was carrying the virus. The promotion assured combat fans that he had taken the necessary precautions to isolate Souza and prevent him from having any direct interaction with other fighters and personnel.
The UFC is confident that its COVID-19 security procedures worked for Souza’s video footage, which suggests to fans that this is not the case. Before picking up his positive test result on Friday, Souza can be seen concocting it with other UFC 249 participants from inside the Jacksonville hotel. “Jacare” did not fully practice social distance safely despite wearing a mask and gloves, knowing that he could potentially have a coronavirus.
The video, which was first viewed on UFC Heavyweight Fabricio Werdum’s Instagram history before being deleted, can be seen below:
What do you think, Maniacs? Too close for comfort?
UFC officials released a statement Friday evening regarding the positive Souza test and said that “the response to this development is indicative of the effectiveness of the health and safety measures that the UFC has put in place to this event “. UFC President Dana White also said that “the system works” because they successfully tested “Jacare” and quickly isolated it.
Although the UFC is likely doing everything in its power to ensure the safety of combatants and personnel this weekend at UFC 249, the video footage above is not good. Souza was supposed to isolate himself and practice social distance at all times. This was clearly not the case and now leaves this whole incident open to a different and much more critical interpretation.
All that said, UFC 249 is still down late tonight live on ESPN + pay-per-view (PPV). The main event of the evening will include an interim lightweight title fight between top competitor Tony Ferguson and short notice filler Justin Gaethje. The co-star will feature UFC bantamweight champion Henry Cejudo defending his title for the first time against tall Dominick Cruz.
MMAmania.com to Offer Live, Turn-by-Turn, Single-shot Coverage of the Entire UFC 249 Combat Map HERE, starting with the ESPN +/ The online Prelims Fight Pass preliminary matches, which must start at 6.30 p.m. ET, then the remaining sub-card balance on ESPN +/ ESPN at 8 p.m. ET, before the start time of the main PPV card at 10 p.m. And on ESPN +.
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