Kiwi MMA fighter dies one week after 'gutless' street attack
New Zealand MMA fighter Fau Vake has died a week after being injured in an alleged assault in Auckland.
The 25-year-old's death was announced by the City Kickboxing gym, where he trained with high-profile UFC star Israel Adesanya.
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Vake was allegedly attacked by four men, all of whom face various charges as a result.
One is charged with common assault, another with assault with intent to injure and another with wounding with intent and injuring with intent. Police said further charges are likely.
Adesanya, a close friend of Vake's, posted a statement on Twitter last week calling on the New Zealand parliament to pass 'coward punch' laws, similar to those introduced in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria, in the wake of the alleged assault.
After Vaku's death, City Kickboxing coach Mike Angove paid tribute to his fighter.
"He has fought. He has fought every step of the way against catastrophic injuries and it's only his heart that's kept him in it for so long," Angove said.
"Right now we are just very, very sad and we need to take our time to remember him."
An emotional Adesanya was definitive in his call for action from the New Zealand parliament in his statement, which came several days prior to Vake's death.
“I am distraught. My gym brother may die because of the gutless actions of these men." A strong statement on Fau Vake from @stylebender who once had his jaw broken by a cheap shot from behind. pic.twitter.com/PdJpuq6Txs
— Matt Manukia (@MattManukiaTVNZ) May 18, 2021
Adesanya calls for change to Kiwi laws
New Zealand rejected a bill which would have created a maximum 20-year sentence for 'coward punch' offences.
"In the past decade there have been numerous deaths from punches thrown when people are not looking," Adesanya wrote.
"Given the massive publicity these crimes have received, no-one is dumb enough to think there is not a serious risk of death.
"There is no excuse, it should be considered murder or attempted murder."
Vake won two fights as an amateur middleweight and was regarded as a bright prospect.
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