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Do you accept there is no cooing off period?
Im afraid 18 months contracts are not unfair within the meaning of UCTA.
Not unless you agreed one. There is no automatic cooling off period save for distance sales and anyway that would be void because you have used the service.
If you agreed a contract for 18 months then that is not void under UCTA. There was some caselaw that challenged rolling contracts of much longer but it hasn't been extended to this.
Usually with gyms they receive payment up front for the full membership from a finance company and then the contract is for the repayment of that sum with their financer. Therefore, it is not void under UCTA as the money has been paid.
If you cancel your credit card they probably will add a default to your credit rating. Whether they will sue is another matter. That doesn't happen often.
You could always offer a lesser sum in full and final settlement although you do bear the risk of a default anyway. If you are going to do that make sure you agree it on the basis of no default.
Can I clarify anything for you?