UFC Champion Israel Adesanya calls for “coward punch” laws

Adesanya had his jaw broken in an attack in 2012.

UFC middleweight Champion, Israel Adesanya is calling for more serious consequences for “coward punchers” as one of his main training partners fights for his life after being felled by a punch from behind.

Twenty-five-year-old City Kickboxing student, Fau Vake, was left in critical condition after an incident on Sunday morning.

Four men have been charged with a number of offences ranging from common assault to injuring with intent.

Adesanya, who himself had his jaw broken in 2012 when hit from behind, wants to bring attention to the lack of legal recognition of the seriousness of the “coward punch”.

“I am distraught. My gym brother may die because of the gutless actions of these men.

“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 head coach Eugene Bareman can’t understand why the issue has not been addressed sooner.

“The Australian states of New South Wales, Queensland and Victoria all introduced coward punch laws in 2014.

“In 2018, the New Zealand parliament rejected a bill in its first reading to create a coward punch offence with a maximum sentence of 20 years imprisonment. This means there is absolutely no deterrent in place to make people think twice about this type of attack.

“It’s sad to see Australia so far ahead of us in dealing with these evil acts. If New Zealand law doesn’t allow for a more serious penalty, we should all be pushing for it.”