Game of Thrones generally doesn’t hide the fact each season features a celebrity cameo or two, but those expecting to see UFC fighter Conor McGregor putting up his dukes in Westeros are apparently in for a bit of a dodge. McGregor apparently denies taking any role, adding “I’ve never even heard about it!”

Entertainment Weekly caught wind of McGregor’s lengthy denial during a Good Times Network variety channel interview, in which the fighter at least acknowledged that he’d been offered a part. The rumor mill evidently spun out from there (including suggestions that he’d play one of Euron’s pirates), though it remains unclear why UFC boss Dana White previously acknowledged the casting. Said McGregor:

That was everywhere and I’ve never even heard about it! I heard about it once after [a fight] … backstage in the dressing room. [UFC brass, including Dana White, were] in front of me and they were saying ‘these [vistors] want you to be in Game of Thrones.’ I’m banged up, my shin’s in a heap, I’ve been kicking his knee’s straight for 25 minutes, my leg’s in bits, and he’s trying to offer me a Game of Thrones role. And I’m saying, ‘Listen, come at me with sh– I want to hear, I’m not trying to be in show business, I’m trying to be in the fight business. Come at me with a real number to fight again. So that was the only time I ever heard the [words] Games of Thrones. And it went everywhere like months later! So I don’t know where that came from. But I’ve never been in contact with nobody from Game of Thrones and now I’m starring in Game of f—ing Thrones!

Previously, UFC president Dana White was quoted as saying “I knew that a few months ago that they were interested in putting him in the show, and I’m glad he did it. It’ll be great.” Showrunners David Benioff and Dan Weiss have previously guested on the UFC Unfiltered podcast, while McGregor has a connection to the Game of Thrones cast. Liam Cunningham trained for Season 7 with McGregor’s coach John Kavanagh, just as Mountain actor Hafthor Julius Bjornsson had earlier in 2016.

We’ll take McGregor’s words at face value, but what other surprises might Game of Thrones Season 7 have in store?

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