Fau Vake when he won the XFC middleweight championship in 2016. | XFC TV/YouTube
Fau Vake died after being attacked in Auckland. The New Zealand Herald reports that four guys who have been charged in relation to the death of pro MMA fighter Fau Vake have been granted interim name suppression until June 23. This implies that it is prohibited to publish the men’s titles in media reports.
NZ Herald also reports that on of those men today faces charges of manslaughter and that all of their cases have been moved into the nation’s High Court.
Vake, who trained in City Kickboxing with UFC champions Israel Adesanya and Alex Volkanovski, was attacked in the early hours of May 16 in Auckland’s city center. It is alleged that he had been struck from behind, with no warning, causing him to collapse into the concrete.
After this assault Vake was taken to hospital where he had been put on life support at Auckland City Hospital. Vake was removed from life support around a week later. He was just 25-years-old.
Among the suspects, a 29-year-old man, was initially charged with assault. He also received the manslaughter charge after Vake passed off. Still another 29-year old is charged with common assault and injuring with intent to injure. A third 29-year old is charged with two counts of assaulting with intent to injure. A 32-year old man is accused of attack.
Attorneys for the four men didn’t enter a plea at their latest court appearance (per Stuff). A couple of the guys were granted bail. All are expected to appear in court on June 23.
After Vake was put on life support Adesanya and City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman spoke out about’coward punches’ (aka’sucker punches’) and called for harsh penalties for people condemned to committing them.
“In the past decade there have been numerous deaths from punches thrown when people are not looking,” explained Adesanya. “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 attempted murder or murder.”
Bareman voiced his disappointment that New Zealand Parliament didn’t pass a bill 2018 that would have mandated maximum sentences of 20 years imprisonment for coward punches. That bill was modelled after similar legislation that were passed in New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria in 2014.
“It’s sad to see Australia so far ahead of us in dealing with these evil acts. If New Zealand law doesn’t allow for a more serious penalty, we should all be pushing for it,” said Bareman.
Vake is survived by a 3-year-old daughter. A friend of this Vake family set a crowdfunding website to benefit Vake’s daughter. At the time of writing that effort has raised $55,758. You can contribute to that fund here.