Former UFC two-division champion and current Ultimate Fighter (TUF) 31 coach Conor McGregor crashed Game 4 of the NBA Finals last week in Miami, appearing on court with Heat mascot “Burnie,” which I assume is a variation of the name “Bernie” (har har).
In what appeared to be a planned skit, McGregor uncorked a stiff left hand and dropped the big orange bird (replay here), who was eventually dragged off the court. This follow-up report claimed the actor inside the costume was hospitalized with a legitimate injury.
Or was he?
“The mascot’s good,” McGregor said in separate interviews with TMZ and Live with Kelly and Mark (transcribed by MMA Fighting). “It was a skit, and it went the way it went and all is well. I spent a lot of time with him afterwards, we hugged it out and everything was great. It was a skit, it was part of the show. We were backstage, all is well, it was part of the show. It blew up. I recently made my acting debut. I’m not a bad actor.”
UFC President Dana White had little sympathy for Burnie.
McGregor, 34, will make his Hollywood debut opposite Jake Gyllenhaal in the upcoming Road House reboot for Amazon Prime. As far as his fighting future, “Notorious” was in line for a lightweight return against fellow TUF 31 coach Michael Chandler later this year, but the promotion has yet to make that fight official.