Man charged with manslaughter over death of Auckland MMA fighter Liufau 'Fau' Vake

Four men have appeared in Auckland District Court on Tuesday morning in relation to the death of promising local kickboxer, Lifau 'Fau' Vake.

One man's charges have been upgraded to manslaughter. Other charges the four men face include assaulting with intent to injure and common assault.

Vake, 25, died on May 23, a week after he was allegedly struck with a coward punch - also known as a king hit or a sucker punch - while waiting for a taxi on Auckland's Symonds Street. It's understood there was no prior provocation.

Vake sustained critical injuries in the alleged assault and died following a week at Auckland Hospital. 

A coward punch, or king hit, is a form of assault where the attacker strikes the victim in the head without warning, meaning the victim has no time to defend themselves. A king hit also puts the victim at further risk of head trauma due to their impact with the ground.

The 25-year-old was a promising mixed martial artist at the Auckland-based kickboxing school City Kickboxing, known for training prominent fighter Israel Adesanya.

All charges have now been transferred to the High Court in Auckland. 

The four men have been remanded without plea and interim name suppression remains in place. 

They will next appear at the High Court in Auckland on June 23.


Photo Instagram  Caption: MMA fighter Liufau 'Fau' Vake