Last Friday, UFC middleweight Jacare Souza was the lone fighter at UFC 249 to test positive for COVID-19. With news coming after weigh-ins, Souza was hastily removed from his fight with Uriah Hall, and isolated from other fighters.
Souza had informed the UFC upon arrival for Fight Week that he had potentially been exposed to the novel coronavirus, leading to an initial isolation order, with mixed results. The fighter was later seen in close contact with other athletes including Fabricio Werdum, albeit masked and gloved at the time.
Other than that misstep, UFC 249 seemed to go off pretty much without a hitch. However, at least two of Souza’s corners later tested positive as well.
Nearly a week later, Souza has released his first statement since the positive diagnosis.
“I was very sad to not be able to fight at UFC 249, but I want you to know that, as soon as I’m medically cleared, I hope to reschedule my fight with Uriah Hall so that I can put on the show that everyone expects. I thank my corners for the partnership, my opponent for the words of support and the UFC for all the care,” the veteran fighter wrote on Instagram.
“Thank you all for the kind messages I have received in the last few days. The upcoming weeks I will be secluded with my family and coaches and focused on our health so I can be back soon. Thank you!”
Souza (26-8, 1NC) last fought in a failed mid to move to light heavyweight, coming up short in a lackluster affair against Jan Blachowicz. He’s a former Strikeforce middleweight champion, and also challenged for the title in Japanese promotion DREAM.