Jamaican UFC Fighter To Be Paid After Opponent’s COVID-19 Test Cans Fight

(L-R) Uriah Hall of Jamaica and Jacare Souza of Brazil during the UFC 249 official weigh-in on May 08, 2020 in Jacksonville, Florida. (Photo by Mike Roach/Zuffa LLC)

News Americas, NEW YORK, NY, Mon. May 10, 2020: Jamaican-born mixed martial artist and former kickboxer Uriah ‘Prime Time’ Hall was rearing to go against Brazilian Ronaldo “Jacare” Souza Saturday night in the UFC 249 middleweight division match-up. But after Souza tested positive for COVID-19 Friday upon his arrival in Florida, that match-up was scrapped much to the disappointment of Hall.

“Brother I know it sucks I’m sorry you have to go through this I am beyond devastated for the missed opportunity I wish you nothing but recovery for you and your family,” Hall said in a statement.

Souza was notified he tested positive. and was sent home.

Hall was born in Spanish Town, Jamaica but moved to Queens, New York in the United States at the age of thirteen. Upon his arrival in the US, he was bullied at school but found refuge in martial arts at the age of 16. He is a second degree blackbelt in Tiger Schulmann’s Mixed Martial Arts under Tiger Schulmann and also competed as a kickboxer in the World Combat League. On January 9, 2013, it was announced that Hall had been selected as a fighter for the seventeenth season of The Ultimate Fighter. Hall faced Antônio Carlos Júnior on September 14, 2019 at UFC on ESPN+ 16.[63] Hall won the fight via split decision. He was initially scheduled to face Ronaldo Souza on April 14, 2020 at UFC 249.

Still it won’t be too disappointing for both fighters UFC president Dana White said they will be paid as the fight was canceled at the last minute.

However, fighters taking part at the UFC 249 event in Florida could lose their purses and bonuses if they publicly criticize the fight promotion’s health and safety precautions for COVID-19, according to an event participation agreement seen by Reuters.

UFC 249 was broadcast with 11 bouts on pay-per-view TV but no fans were in attendance at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena because of the COVID-19 pandemic.  An interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje topped the bill instead of the Hall versus Souza fight.