Mixed Martial Arts: Promising City Kickboxing MMA fighter Fau Vake dies in hospital

Promising mixed martial artist Fau Vake has died in hospital, after an alleged assault last week that left him fighting for his life.

"Fau Vake's final fight is over," City Kickboxing spokesperson Mike Angove says. "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 has ended."

The 25-year-old was waiting for a taxi on Auckland's Symonds St last Sunday morning, when he was allegedly struck from behind with no provocation.

Vake spent the past week in critical condition at Auckland Hospital, with family and teammates - including UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya - by his side.

"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," Angove says.

ON Thursday, City Kickboxing head coach Eugene Bareman told The AM Show they were "praying for a miracle".

Vake. Photo credit: Supplied

"Things are pretty dire right now and his doctors have been pretty gracious to tell us how it is," he said. "We need nothing short of a miracle for him to pull through this."

Earlier this week, Vake's injuries sparked renewed calls - including from Adesanya - for anyone who "coward punches" someone who later dies to be charged with murder.

Adesanya, who had his jaw broken in 2012 when hit from behind, said he wanted to bring attention to the lack of legal recognition of the seriousness of the "coward punch".

"I am distraught," he said. "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."

Four men have been arrested and are facing various assault charges.