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UFC 249's Jacare Souza tests positive for COVID-19, event still on

This story was updated at 11:50 PM Eastern.

Photo: ESPN

Earlier Friday, Dana White spoke confidently about his team's ability to hold Saturday's UFC 249 successfully, pointing to the amount of COVID-19 testing everyone involved in the show had to undergo.

Friday night, that testing proved more than useful as news broke that Ronaldo "Jacare" Souza tested positive and is out of his fight against Uriah Hall. Additionally, two of his cornermen also tested positive according to the UFC.

Despite the positive test, UFC 249 is still moving on as planned after the organization conferred with Florida athletic commission officials. According to one commission official who spoke with the Las Vegas Review Journal, "the system worked." The UFC in their statement said, "The response to this development is indicative of the effectiveness of the health and safety measures UFC has put in place for this event."

ESPN's Ariel Helwani tweeted that all other fighters on the show tested negative. Souza and the cornermen are no longer at the host hotel and "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," according to the UFC.

During Friday's weigh-ins, Souza wore both gloves and a medical mask (seen above) and stood a good distance away from Hall at the faceoffs. UFC's Hunter Campbell revealed the news to ESPN's Stephen A. Smith that the positive test came back shortly after that faceoff.

According to ESPN, the middleweight contender arrived in Jacksonville on Wednesday and told officials that a family member had tested positive. He was isolated and tested as he was asymptomatic, but the Friday result showed he was positive. 

The questions now surround who Souza may have come in contact with during the three days he was in town and what being "isolated" truly meant in this scenario. There are also questions about why the positive test took two days to come back and whether other personnel involved in Saturday's show are also asymptomatic. 

ESPN's Marc Raimondi laid out a detailed plan of how fighters and personnel were to be treated through the week including COVID-19 testing and antibody tests and later how in the in-arena experience would be different for everyone involved.

There are three UFC events scheduled for seven days in Jacksonville: Saturday's UFC 249 ppv and two ESPN events on Wednesday and the following Saturday.