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SportsMixed Martial Arts

MMA champ trains to the beat of . . . country music

Chris Weidman, right, and Anderson Silva battle it

Chris Weidman, right, and Anderson Silva battle it out during their UFC 162 mixed martial arts middleweight championship bout at the MGM Grand Garden Arena. (July 6, 2013) Credit: AP

Nothing about a Tim McGraw-Faith Hill ballad suggests mixed martial arts.

It's a pretty country duet performed by pretty country people, for sure, but it sounds a smidge out of place inside the gritty garage-type gym for punching and kicking and people.

Yet, there was "It's Your Love" coming through the sound system at Ray Longo and Chris Weidman's Power MMA in Garden City one late night earlier this week.

It was part of a mix of country music UFC middleweight champion Chris Weidman listened to while loosening up for a training session leading in to his first title defense against Anderson Silva at UFC 168 in Las Vegas on Dec. 28.

“That’s my new thing," Weidman said. "Country music to warm up. It’s just relaxing. It gets me in a relaxed mood. I feel chill. Helps me focus, just get in my little mood.”

But once the ballads switch to rap beats, the fists come flying.

New York Sports