A man involved in the fatal assault of MMA fighter Fau Vake will serve six months of home detention, a high court in Auckland, New Zealand ruled Monday, per a report from Miriam Burrell of the New Zealand Herald.
Ofa Folau, 29, was given the sentence after pleading guilty to two charges of assault with intent to injure. His charges will be served concurrently during his six-month period of detention.
Folau, along with three other men, have been charged with crimes in relation to the assault on Vake that lead to his death in May.
The court ruled that Folau was involved in the attack on Vake, however, they did not deem him responsible for Vake’s death.
The court determined that Folau had cornered Fau’s brother, Ika Vake, downtown and struck him twice in the head with his fist. He then struck Fau three times in the head while he was being held by another person.
Vake was hospitalized following the assault and was pronounced dead a week later.
Vake trained out of prominent MMA gym City Kickboxing.
Gym member and UFC fighter Dan Hooker was vocal about the verdict on Monday, claiming there should be much stricter punishment placed on Folau.
“It’s not fair, you can’t tell me that’s fair and that’s justice, that’s not justice,” he said to the New Zealand Herald outside the courtroom Monday.
Hooker also opposed the court’s ruling that Folau should not be held responsible for the death.
“Of course he’s part of it. Four attacked two, how are you [Folau] not an aggravating factor,” said Hooker.
The official City Kickboxing Instagram account also put out a statement scrutinizing the court’s verdict.
“There is no deterrent in place to make these kind of people think twice about unprovoked mob attacks or coward punching,” the post said.
Three men related to the assault are currently facing charges in court. Semisie Pomale and Siofilisil Paongo are facing common assault charges, and a man whose name has been suppressed is charged with manslaughter. They have all pleaded not guilty in their cases.
City Kickboxing members have been mourning the loss of Vake for months.
UFC Middleweight Champion Israel Adesanya dedicated his win in June to Vake. Earlier that evening fellow training partner Brad Riddell did the same thing.