The partner of promising young MMA fighter Fau Vake has paid tribute to him after he died nearly a week after he was admitted to hospital following an assault while he waited for a taxi in Auckland.
Vake was assaulted on Symonds St in central Auckland in the early hours last Sunday morning and taken to Auckland Hospital in critical condition.
Four men were charged over the incident on a number of offences ranging from common assault to injuring with intent.
His death was confirmed this morning by City Kickboxing where he trained.
This afternoon Vake’s high school sweetheart Christina Williams paid tribute to him on Instagram.
Her full tribute reads:
“My high school sweetheart, 10 years of memories together with you & it has been & will forever be the best time of my life. Thank you for giving me the world’s best creation, Isa Banana.
“You have taught me so much in life, how to be comfortable when I’m out of my comfort zone, you’ve taught me what unconditional love really is, forgiveness, strength & most of all shown me the power of our lord, Jesus Christ. You are the heart of your family and You are so loved.
“You’ve brought so many people and have touched many hearts. That’s the kind of person you were, extremely loving, caring, a protector, giving.
“I swear & promise to look after our daughter, give her the best life and make you proud!
“My sweet love. Till we meet again. Isa banana loves you, your daughter just adores you, forever a daddy’s girl.”
Vake was considered a promising up-and-coming fighter, and had a 2-0-0 record in his young professional MMA career.
He was also a friend and regular sparring partner of Israel Adesanya.
Earlier this week, Adesanya said there needed to be harsher punishments for "coward punchers".
“In the past decade there have been numerous deaths from punches thrown when people are not looking.
“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.”
City Kickboxing founder Eugene Bareman agreed, telling 1 NEWS the issue was all too common, referencing an incident in 2012 that left Adesanya himself with a broken jaw, as well as other incidents against fellow gym members since.