UFC 249 has become a breeding ground for coronavirus as three personnel from the forthcoming event have already tested positive for COVID-19.
Despite warnings, UFC boss Dana White plowed forward with plans to stage a combat event, weeks before anyone else would consider it.
The Association of Ringside Physicians recommended all shows be canceled until the pandemic was under control. The inevitable has now transpired.
In a statement, UFC chiefs explained the situation.
Undercard fighter Jacaré Souza and two of his staff were flagged for the virus.
“The middleweight bout between Uriah Hall vs Jacaré Souza will no longer be on the UFC 249 preliminary card. This is due to one of Souza’s COVID-19 tests indicating a positive result,” began the information.
“In addition, COVID-19 tests for Souza’s two cornermen were also positive. 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. The UFC’s medical team will monitor their conditions remotely. They will provide assistance with any necessary treatment.
“From their arrival earlier in the week until their departure today, Souza and his cornermen followed UFC safety protocols. This included practicing social distancing, wearing personnel protective equipment, and self-isolating whenever possible.
“There have been no other positive COVID-19 tests reported from the remaining athletes participating in UFC 249.
“The response to this development is indicative of the effectiveness of the health and safety measures UFC has put in place for this event.
“Saturday’s UFC 249 card, which airs live on pay-per-view and is headlined by a battle for the interim lightweight title between No. 1-ranked lightweight contender Tony Ferguson and No. 4-ranked Justin Gaethje will proceed as scheduled with 11 bouts.”
Back in April, the ARP had given the following recommendation to every combat organization. It was heeded by all but the UFC.
“Sporting events across the world have been canceled in response to the increased risk of infection. Plus transmission by participants, fans, officials, and support staff.
“It is our recommendation that all combat sporting events be postponed until further notice. This includes any and all events. Regardless of the number of people involved.
“Any combat sport taking place during this global pandemic places the athletes, officials, and anyone else involved in the event under unnecessary risk of infection. The transmission of COVID-19.”
The s***show continues.
It’s expected many more COVID-19 cases will come from the event in the weeks after.