‘We are just very, very sad’: New Zealand MMA fighter Fau Vake dies in hospital after life support battle following alleged attack

Fau Vake, the MMA prospect who trained alongside UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya in his native New Zealand, has died after spending a week on life support following an alleged "coward punch" and assault in his homeland.

Friends, family and fighters from the City Kickboxing facility had been maintaining a vigil over the 25-year-old, urging doctors to keep him alive as he battled to regain consciousness following a reported altercation in the early hours of last Sunday.

Police have confirmed that new charges will now be leveled in the resulting case, which has seen four men appear in court over the alleged incident involving the father-of-three.

"It is with inexplicable sadness, almost seven days to the hour after his hospital admission, that Fau's fight to find his way back to us ended," said a statement from City Kickboxing, where Adesanya – who had posted a video from Vake's bedside and asked fans to pray for the stricken scrapper – trains.

"At this tragic time, the Vake family and City Kickboxing ask for time to grieve and reflect on the loss of Fau – a father, a son and a much loved brother to us all."

Coach Mike Angove said Vake's family would continue to receive support from the community. "He has fought," he added to the New Zealand Herald.

"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.

"Right now, we are just very, very sad and we need to take our time to remember him.

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"[Being in the gym is] the best way to honor him but the rest of our time is wrapping around the family and honoring what Fau has brought into our lives."

One of the men charged currently faces a count of common assault, with two accused of assaulting with intent to injure, another charged with wounding with intent and injuring with intent and another charged with common assault. Three of the men are aged 29; the fourth is 32.

"Our thoughts are with his family at this incredibly difficult time," said Detective Senior Sergeant Geoff Baber, of the Auckland City CIB.

"Given the man's death, further charges will be filed in due course. Police can confirm that we are not currently seeking anyone else in relation to our investigation."

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Adesanya spoke out after his friend Fau Vake was left fighting for his life. © Instagram @fauvake
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