UFC's Dana White Gives The Rock Advice After Buying XFL from WWE's Vince McMahon

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistAugust 4, 2020

FILE - In this Sept. 19, 2019, file photo, UFC President Dana White speaks at a news conference in New York. UFC 249 has been canceled after ESPN and parent company Disney stopped White's plan to keep fighting amid the coronavirus pandemic. After defiantly vowing for weeks to maintain a regular schedule of fights, White announced the decision to cease competition Thursday, April 9, on ESPN, the UFC's broadcast partner. (AP Photo/Gregory Payan, File)
Gregory Payan/Associated Press

UFC President Dana White offered some insight to Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson after the WWE legend purchased a stake in the XFL.

White told TMZ Sports that Johnson might benefit from bringing the XFL back as quickly as possible to fill the general content void amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

"If I was The Rock, I would try to get that rolling as fast as I could," White said. "I'd try to get that on television ASAP. I guarantee you there's a ton of networks that would do it."

He added that he plans to reach out to Johnson personally to discuss "what I think he needs to do on the COVID side of this thing."

White's advice for Johnson may not be all that practical, though.

The XFL is effectively starting over again after the league suspended operations and went into bankruptcy. The Athletic's Daniel Kaplan also reported on July 28 that ESPN and Fox Sports "are seeking major changes to their contracts" they signed with the XFL ahead of its sale.

Even before the pandemic threw everything into disarray, the XFL's ratings were trending downward, raising questions about its long-term viability.

The Alliance of American Football was rushed into production to beat the XFL to the punch as the spring football alternative. The AAF still unraveled less than two months after it opened its 2019 season as a result.

Vince McMahon took a more deliberate approach with the XFL, and that still wasn't enough to ensure its survival for a full season.

And this is to say nothing of the health and safety protocols that would need to be in place amid the pandemic. The XFL had eight teams for its 2020 season. Carrying that number of franchises over to its next season would make it easier to house operations in one central location to set up a bubble, but that would still require a lot of work behind the scenes to become a reality.

Dany Garcia, who's among the investors in the XFL, told ESPN's Kevin Seifert the plan is to relaunch for next season. However, fans will likely remain a little skeptical the third time will be the charm for the league.