Inside Fight Island where stars are going on 160mph joy rides, UFC execs play golf and cutsmen sunbathe in 46C heat

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WITH a sandy beach, beautiful golf course and even an F1 race circuit, Fight Island is never short of options when it comes to things to do.

And then of course, there are the fights themselves, with president Dana White having been at pains to keep the show on the road throughout the coronavirus pandemic.

Fighters can train for these battles on the beach, with an Octagon on the sand – although they have to endure temperatures of up to 46 degrees if they choose to do so.

But while the athletes themselves may prefer to do their training indoors in the Flash Forum area, Insider reveal that plenty of other activities have gone on in the searing heat.

UFC executives have favoured the golf course at Yas Links, with competitive spirit running high, despite the colleagues having to remain socially distanced at all times.

Many have been taking to the green, although with the sun’s glaring rays beating down, would-be golfers have had to get started before 7am on occasion.

Others have chosen a more pulse-raising activity, however, since they found out that there is a Formula 1 track right on their doorstep.

When competitors realised that they could take racing lessons just a stones-throw from their five star W Hotel at the £1billion Yas Marina Circuit – few could resist the thrilling opportunity – with 26 subsequent sign-ups.

And although the buzz of victory in the Octagon is the primary objective of their respective trips – experiencing the thrill of joyriding at 160mph on a warm evening in Abu Dhabi can’t be a bad bonus.

Fighters have also been playfully grappling on the beach, or splashing each other in the Al-Raha Creek.

Others, however, have elected to ignore the many amenities of the four square mile complex – instead choosing to relax an even meditate as they chase victory in the octagon.

It’s not just the fighters and execs that have been having all the fun, however, with cutsmen also taking the opportunity to soak in the sun’s rays by the pool – listening to music and enjoying the surreal life experience within the bubble.

Fight Island is a small complex housing 2,500 people within Yas Island, a 10 square mile luxury Abu Dhabi destination.

Within are restaurants, hotels and training facilities – as well as the amenities for fighters to unwind and have fun.

The Fight Island project has already been a huge success, with UFC 251 having been sold to 1.3m US households – comfortably more than Tyson Fury vs Deontay Wilder II in February, and even Conor McGregor’s comeback against Donald Cerrone the month before.

And boss White, 50, believes that the location is becoming an attractive star in its own right.

Following Kamaru Usman’s victory over Jorge Masvidal, he said: “It was a very successful event.

“This thing killed it across the board. It was awesome.

“Fight Island was a massive star in this thing. Masvidal was a massive star. Usman, the champion, a guy we’re all starting to realise is tough to beat, and a great card underneath it. It came together perfectly and it was a major success.”

The final main-event scheduled in this Fight Island run is Brit Darren Till’s bout with Robert Whittaker over the weekend – although it’s extremely likely that the UFC will be back before long.

In fact, Khabib Nurmagomedov’s huge fight with Justin Gaethje is all set to go there in September, should the Russian be able to compete following the tragic death of his father.

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