Kiwi MMA prospect dies after ‘gutless’ assault

New Zealand mixed martial arts fighter Fau Vake has died a week after being injured in an assault in downtown Auckland.

Vake’s death at 25 was confirmed by City Kickboxing where he trained with UFC champion Israel Adesanya. He had been on life support after an incident on May 16. He leaves behind a partner and three-year-old daughter.

Adesanya released a statement while Vake was in critical condition in hospital, saying he was “distraught” his friend was attacked by “gutless men” and called for tougher laws in New Zealand for “coward punchers”.

Four men who face charges over the incident appeared in court in Auckland on the day after the incident.

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.

“It is with inexplicable sadness almost seven days to the hour after his hospital admission, Fau’s fight to find his way back to us ended,” City Kickboxing said in a statement Sunday.

City Kickboxing coach Mike Angove said the past week, as Vake lay critically injured in an Auckland hospital, had been an ordeal for family and friends.

“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.”

Vake won two fights as an amateur middleweight and was regarded a bright prospect.

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