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MMA fighter Carlos Condit urges lawmakers to knockout coyote-killing contests

Backers of a proposed bill to ban coyote-killing derbies in New Mexico enlisted the help of a fearsome ally today, as mixed martial arts fighter Carlos Condit urged lawmakers to back the legislation.

Condit, an Albuquerque native whose father was former Gov. Bill Richardson’s chief of staff, described coyote-killing contests as “senseless acts of mass slaughter.”

“What does allowing these contests say about our values?” Condit asked a crowd of animal rights advocates gathered in the Capitol rotunda.

The proposal to ban coyote contests passed the Senate last week on a 27-13 vote. The legislation, Senate Bill 253, is expected to be debated in its first House committee late next week.

It is sponsored by Sen. Mark Moores, R-Albuquerque, and Rep. Jeff Steinborn, a Las Cruces Democrat.

Opponents of the measure have argued it would infringe on private property rights and reflects an urban bias against rural New Mexico.

The 30-year old Condit, whose nickname is “the Natural Born Killer,” has a 29-8 record in MMA.