Jesse Ronson made a successful return to the UFC at UFC Fight Night: Whittaker vs. Till, defeating Nicolas Dalby by first-round submission.
A victorious Ronson almost didn’t get to compete at the event due to a false-positive coronavirus test but was cleared three hours before his fight.
“At seven in the morning [on Saturday], I got a phone call from the UFC saying I tested positive,” Ronson said on What The Heck (via Alexander K. Lee of MMA Fighting). “Six people that day had false positives. All of it came back negative, but at seven in the morning they called me and they’re like, ‘You have to stay in your room. We’re sending people up to test you again.’ So 7:30, they came and they tested me, [and at] 3:30 they came back and they tested me twice. They did the nose test, which hurt like hell, and another throat swab. And then finally at 10:30 at night on fight day, they said, ‘Your tests are good and negative, don’t worry, six other people had false positives. They’re all negative, everybody’s good. You’re good to fight now.’ I’m like, oh great, it’s good to know that I’m good to fight now on fight day an hour and a half before I gotta go down and start warming up and getting my hands wrapped up. I haven’t slept at all because I was super nervous. It was out of my hands, [and] I probably should’ve [slept]. But with the screw-up that happened in 2018 I was like, ‘Just my luck, this would happen to me I would get screwed over the day of the fight.’ Luckily, it all came back and sorted itself out and I was able to go in there, fight, and get that W.”
Ronson (22-10) made his promotional return at the event, replacing an injured Danny Roberts.
The Canadian-born fighter says that a post-fight conversation with UFC matchmaker Sean Shelby was an added benefit of his win.
“The best part of all of that was that a lot of people were giving Sean Shelby sh*t for signing me,” he said. “Like, ‘Why would you sign this guy? He’s 21-10, 34 years old, we’ve got this guy, this guy, and so on and so forth.’ It felt so good hearing Sean Shelby say, ‘Thank you for that, Jesse, because now there’s a lot of people out there that I can tell to go eat sh*t and to never question my judgment again.’ I’m like, ‘Yes, thank you, sir.’ He’s like, ‘You don’t understand how many people I’ve texted being like, ‘What about that? What did you have to say about my judgment in me signing this guy? Oh yeah, that’s right, shut the hell up. He just beat this guy a weight class up, first-round submission, and got a bonus.’ It was so good to hear that.”
There is no word yet on when Ronson will step back into the Octagon. He holds a 1-3-0 record in the promotion.