At least one epidemiologist is speaking out after UFC 249 fighter Ronaldo Souza tested positive for coronavirus Friday night.

The UFC announced that Souza, who was scheduled to face Uriah Hall in a middleweight bout, was removed from the card after he and two of his cornermen tested positive for COVID-19. All three men were found to be asymptomatic.

Souza, who’s based in Orlando, Fla., and drove to Jacksonville on Wednesday, informed UFC officials upon his arrival that he’d been exposed to a family member with coronavirus. With this knowledge, the UFC tested Souza – as it has every person staying at the host hotel – and allowed him to remain on the card. On Friday morning, Souza stepped on the scale for UFC 249 weigh-ins wearing a face covering and gloves. He was tested again prior to fighter faceoffs where UFC president Dana White fist-bumped Souza and made contact with several athletes.

According to a UFC statement, Souza and his team left the host hotel to self-isolate off the premises after their positive COVID-19 tests were revealed.

“The response to this development is indicative of the effectiveness of the health and safety measures UFC has put in place for this event,” the UFC said in a statement.

But Dr. Zachary Binney, an Atlanta-based epidemiologist, questioned any claim of the UFC showing responsibility.

“The UFC and Dana White were negligent,” Binney tweeted Saturday. “Tried to restart early, the predictable thing happened, & they mishandled it. … If this was your system working as designed, your system is bogus.”

Binney illustrated his point by specifically laying out the timeline of events in a previous Twitter thread.

The timeline is important here:

Wed – Souza, training in Orlando and knowing he had a possible + test in his family, travels to Jax. Bad move by him and his people. I hope UFC advised fighters specifically about this situation.

He arrives, informs UFC of family case, is tested, and apparently isolated pending results. That’s all good (though keep in mind he shouldn’t be in Jax in the first place).

And…then why is he at the staredown Friday, 2 days later? Reckless by UFC.

Today his test comes back positive, fight is off. Hopefully he and all his contacts (including other fighters at the staredown!) will quarantine for 2 weeks and stop their particular transmission chain.

No, I don’t buy this is the system working as designed and proof UFC and Dana White are being responsible. At least two very bad things happened:

-An infected fighter traveled
-An infected fighter *with a family case you knew about* was allowed at a staredown

Actually, the UFC’s own statement indicts the hell out of em!

-Says Souza + cornermen were “self-isolating whenever possible.” Not good enough. -Implies Souza’s party has been staying in the hotel for 2 days and is only *now* isolating off-site.

Binney, in questioning the UFC’s claim that Souza was isolated, closed his thread by pointing to video of Souza next to Fabricio Werdum and not adhering to social distancing around other fighters.

UFC 249, with the blessing of the Florida State Boxing Commission regulating it, will proceed as planned Saturday at VyStar Veterans Memorial Arena, headlined by an interim lightweight title fight between Tony Ferguson and Justin Gaethje. The card streams on ESPN+ pay-per-view following prelims on ESPN and ESPN+.

The UFC’s next two cards planned for Jacksonville next week on May 13 and 16 also are scheduled to continue.