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Inside UFC’s luxury Fight Island hotel complete with own gym, weight-cutting rooms, bars and F1 track on site


THE UFC have well and truly rolled out the red carpet for their athletes competing on Fight Island, housing them inside a luxury five-star hotel.

Mixed martial arts’ premier organisation have once again taken over Abu Dhabi’s W Hotel for their latest stint on Yas Island.

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UFC fighters and staff are staying in the five-star W HotelCredit: Represented by ZUMA Press, Inc.
The W Hotel's plush lobby area

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The W Hotel’s plush lobby areaCredit: SUNSPORT/CHISANGAMALATA
Fighters and media numbers have signed a Fight Island notice board, which you encounter just before heading to the media rooms

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Fighters and media numbers have signed a Fight Island notice board, which you encounter just before heading to the media rooms

And to say the gaff is worthy of its five-star rating would be doing it a huge disservice.

Upon arrival outside of the hotel, guests – although in my case media members – are greeted by a stunning water fountain with the trademark W in the middle of it.

The decor of the hotel is stylish and very chic, although you would expect that for digs as pricey as this one.

A quick saunter through the lobby and guests soon find themselves in what can only be described as one of the coolest hotel bars I’ve ever seen.

But what was even cooler than the bar itself was its the backdrop.

Situated on the back of the hotel is the stunning Yas Marina Formula One Circuit.

The view of the Yas Marina F1 circuit

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The view of the Yas Marina F1 circuitCredit: SUNSPORT/CHISANGAMALATA

The view of the track is absolutely breathtaking, although I can imagine it gets old after hearing cars go around it all day.

That being said, I’d happily take the constant sound of speeding motors to reside here for two weeks.

The majority of the hotel’s ground floor – with the exception of the lobby, the shop, the plush restaurants and the aforementioned bar – has been taken over by the UFC.

Conference rooms have been turned into media centres and what appeared to have been large offices spaces have been transformed into small gyms for the fighters to cut weight in.

The gym used by fighters when cutting weight

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The gym used by fighters when cutting weightCredit: SUNSPORT/CHISANGAMALATA
Another view of the fighter gym

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Another view of the fighter gymCredit: ALEX MCCARTHY

The gyms, however, aren’t anything worth shouting about – just a couple of treadmills with plexiglass between them.

On my way to and from the hotel, I observed several fighters making the most of the warm conditions, dropping those extra pounds of water weight by hitting pads outside and going for runs around the grounds.

I’m envious of them as we’re not permitted to leave the grounds of our hotel unless we’re on the shuttle bus to the W or the Etihad Arena.

My jealously, however, isn’t centred solely on the freedom the fighters have. It’s also towards the rooms they’re staying in.

Although our hotel wasn't quite the W, it did have a beautiful outdoor pool

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Although our hotel wasn’t quite the W, it did have a beautiful outdoor poolCredit: ALEX MCCARTHY

Although my room at the Crowne Plaza is one I’d pay top dollar for, the abodes in the W are on another level.

Skipping through the photos of the rooms online – even the most basic ones – made me realise how the other half lives when they go on holiday.

They were lush, to say the least. But they aren’t patch on the boudoir UFC president Dana White is staying in.

Maybe one day I’ll get to experience digs like that.

But I highly doubt considering I’m not, and more than likely will never be, a multi-millionaire.

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