The UFC knew that Ronaldo Souza had been in contact with a probable positive COVID-19 case, but the promotion did not step in sooner because, well, Dana White is the boss.
UFC President Dana White caught up with TSN and touched briefly on Souza’s positive testing. “Jacare” was pulled from his UFC 249 fight with Uriah Hall but only after he and his cornermen tested positive. Souza was seen interacting with fighters like Fabricio Werdum during fight week despite the promotion being privy to Souza’s increased risk.
“We waited for the test results,” White told TSN’s Aaron Bronsteter on SportsCentre. When asked why Souza was not pulled sooner, White insisted, “Because I didn’t want to. It’s my show. I’ll do what I want to do. I didn’t want to. I wanted to wait for the test to come in.”
The newly-minted Nevada State Athletic Comission COVID-19 protocols requires all individuals at the UFC APEX to first answer a series of questions. Those questions include “Have you come into contact with someone with COVID-19” and “In the past two-weeks, have you travelled to or from an area that is considered high risk.” It is possible the UFC will not be able to take the same liberties they did in Florida while operating in Nevada.
UFC is coming off three shows in Jacksonville, Florida and will now head to the UFC APEX facility in Las Vegas, Nevada for the next two fight cards.
“This was the best case scenario for us. Florida worked out perfectly but this is the best case scenario. For my people to be here. We gotta pull these two things off successfully — Saturday and then [June] 6th — and then we’re back in business. We’re rolling again. This is what we do. This is what we’ve always done. We figure out solutions to problems. I understand that this thing is real and this thing is serious and people are dying, but I’m not afraid of this. I’m not afraid of it at all. I think we’ve come up with great plans, “ White said. “Wait till you see what I’m working on for this summer.”