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Shirtless Conor McGregor poses with Prince Albert of Monaco and takes on Princess Charlene

He recently announced his retirement from UFC, but Conor McGregor today proved he hasn’t lost his competitive streak when he took part in a water bike race in Monaco.

McGregor, 32, was cheered on by his girlfriend Dee Devlin, 32, as he faced off against Princess Charlene, 42, in a challenge in the waters off Monte Carlo.  

Instagram photos from the event show the pair going head-to-head, with McGregor at one point only narrowly beating former Olympic swimmer Charlene.

The 32-year-old fighter has been embroiled in a string of controversies, including being hit with a driving ban for speeding in 2018 and slapped with a €1000 fine after assaulting a man in Dublin in November last year.

Put ’em up! Conor McGregor, 32, poses with Prince Albert II of Monaco in Monte Carlo today. McGregor was on hand to challenge Charlene to a water bike race

McGregor, 32, was cheered on by his girlfriend Dee Devlin, 32, as he faced off against Princess Charlene, 42, in a challenge in the waters off Monte Carlo, pictured

McGregor, 32, was cheered on by his girlfriend Dee Devlin, 32, as he faced off against Princess Charlene, 42, in a challenge in the waters off Monte Carlo, pictured

McGregor and Dee pose with their arms around Charlene and Albert of Monaco, pictured

McGregor and Dee pose with their arms around Charlene and Albert of Monaco, pictured

Other snaps from the holiday show McGregor posing topless with Prince Albert II, 62, and standing with his arms around the royal couple alongside Dee, the mother of his two children. 

It appears the royal connection may go back several years, with McGregor first meeting Princess Charlene of Monaco’s brother, Gareth Wittstock, in May 2016. 

Posting a snap on Facebook at the time, he wrote: ‘The Court of Monaco and his team dropped by the beach house last week! Nice to meet you Gareth my man!’  

Yesterday McGregor, Dee and children Conor Jr, three, and Croia, 10 month, were seen enjoying family time on a beach in nearby south of France.  

It appears the royal connection may date back several years, with McGregor sharing a snap as he met with Princess Charlene's brother, Gareth Wittstock, in May 2016

It appears the royal connection may date back several years, with McGregor sharing a snap as he met with Princess Charlene’s brother, Gareth Wittstock, in May 2016

McGregor announced today he will be among the athletes taking part in a 24 hour charity water bike race in September. 

The challenge, which takes place on 12 and 13 September, will see two teams of four internationally renowned athletes take turns to ‘cycle’ 180km from Calvi, in Corsica, to Monaco.  

Sharing his excitement at taking part, McGregor posted: ‘A Great day racing the water bikes with Princess Charlene of Monaco. A phenomenal athlete and Olympian, we are teaming up for a 180km voyage in September to raise awareness in water safety. I cannot wait! 

‘We will be utilising my training under the McGregor F.A.S.T program to excel on these mounted water bike devices, which are incredibly good! It is like Freedom out there! Thank you for the great day for my family Your Highness.’

Instagram photos from the event show the pair going head-to-head, with McGregor at one point only narrowly beating former Olympic swimmer Charlene, pictured

Instagram photos from the event show the pair going head-to-head, with McGregor at one point only narrowly beating former Olympic swimmer Charlene, pictured

The event will benefit the Princess Charlene of Monaco Foundation and raise awareness of its programmes including ‘Learn to Swim’ and ‘Water Safety’, which have been implemented around the world.   

Since the creation of the Princess Charlene Foundation in 2012, more than 730,000 people, particularly children, have benefited from these three programmes in 34 countries. 

Zimbabwean-born Charlene is a committed philanthropist and often draws on her athletic connections to raise money for the fund established in her name.

McGregor has been embroiled in a series of controversies over the years, and last year appeared in court pleading guilty to punching a man in the face in a Dublin pub. 

McGregor announced today he will be among the athletes taking part in a 24 hour charity water bike race in September. Pictured, on a water bike in Monaco

McGregor announced today he will be among the athletes taking part in a 24 hour charity water bike race in September. Pictured, on a water bike in Monaco

The ex-UFC fighter, who is worth an estimated £85million, was told he has a month to cough up the money after he admitted hitting Desmond Keogh at the Marble Arch pub in Drimnagh in April 2019. 

The athlete was caught on CCTV hitting Mr Keogh in the face at the Marble Arch pub in Drimnagh on April 6 while visiting to promote a whiskey brand he owns.

Video showed McGregor offering a round of shots to men sitting at the bar, then lashing out when one of them refuses to take the drink.

It was not the only time McGregor has found himself in trouble with the law.

McGregor and Princess Charlene in the water today. McGregor will be one of eight internationally renowned athletes take turns to 'cycle' 180km from Calvi, in Corsica, to Monaco

McGregor and Princess Charlene in the water today. McGregor will be one of eight internationally renowned athletes take turns to ‘cycle’ 180km from Calvi, in Corsica, to Monaco

In July 2018 he pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct at a Brooklyn court as part of a plea deal to avoid jail time after he threw a metal trolley at a rival’s team bus.

In March 2019 he was arrested in Miami after video showed him stealing and stamping on a fan’s phone as he tried to get a video with him. 

Meanwhile Charlene and Albert tied the knot in 2011 after five years together, going public with their relationship at the 2006 Winter Olympics in Turin.

Prince Albert is the son of Princess Grace and Prince Rainier III of Monaco.

McGregor, left, and Charlene, right, race on the water bikes in Monaco today

McGregor, left, and Charlene, right, race on the water bikes in Monaco today

Read more at DailyMail.co.uk