‘I could’ve crushed McGregor in sparring session’ - ‘Game of Thrones’ strongman Hafthor Bjornsson
Icelandic strongman Hafthor Bjornsson, known for his role in fantasy series ‘Game of Thrones,’ says he “could have crushed” Irish MMA fighter Conor McGregor during a sparring session between the pair two years ago.
Bjornsson, who besides being known for his acting career is a professional strongman and avid football fan of his native Iceland, visited Moscow last weekend to take part in a sports nutrition and healthy lifestyle exhibition, SN Pro 2017.
After a busy day of socializing and taking pictures with fans, RT caught up with the Icelander in his hotel.
RT: You are known as a big fan of the Iceland football team – are you going to support them at next year’s FIFA World Cup in Russia?
Hafthor Bjornsson: I’ll be cheering my team on, obviously. I’m proud of Iceland, I’m proud of the guys, so I will be cheering them on, yes. I’m proud of the team and I am a fan, yes.
RT: Do you have a favorite footballer?
HB: I like (Argentina striker Lionel) Messi a lot, I think he’s a good player. Yeah, basically that, you know, he’s a good player. And yeah, (Portugal striker Cristiano) Ronaldo didn’t score against us so I guess he was scared.
RT: Have you ever played football yourself?
HB: No I haven’t, I didn’t play football. I did (play) basketball when I was younger.
RT: Do you plan to come to Russia for the Word Cup next year?
HB: I would have to look into that, see my schedule and figure out if I have time. I’m obviously a very busy man. But I’d love to come. We will see, maybe I’m filming or maybe I’m doing something very important in my life. So, we’ll have to see.
RT: It’s your first time in Russia. What are your impressions so far?
HB: Well, I’m used to the cold weather. I’m from Iceland myself, so I’m used to it and I’m also very warm. [I’m] never really cold, I don’t wear lots of clothes because I’m just always very warm. So I do like the weather, you know. I’m used to the cold, I do like it. I like Moscow a lot, I like Russia a lot. The people here are very nice, the women here are beautiful.
RT: Most people know you for your role of Gregor ‘The Mountain’ Clegane in ‘Game of Thrones.’ Do you think that you are somehow similar to your character?
HB: I do like him. He’s an interesting character and I do like to act him. It’s different because I’m used to talk, but in the show he doesn’t talk. So, it can be very difficult sometime to understand they are doing nothing or just killing people. Obviously in real life I don’t kill people. So it can be very difficult.
RT: Two years ago you had a sparring session with Conor McGregor, what memories do you have of that day?
HB: Yes, I had a sparring session with him. Just a joke one. A while ago, before his big fight against (Jose) Aldo. I had to hold myself back because I have too much power for a man of his size. If I would push all my power into him I would crash him.