New Zealand Rugby have refuted claims by Kiwi MMA trainer Eugene Bareman that they have spoken to the UFC about the use of the silver fern by City Kickboxing fighters.
Bareman slammed NZR this afternoon at a press conference with Nigerian-born Kiwi UFC middleweight champion Israel Adesanya, saying the UFC was stopping them from using the fern because the UFC had been "contacted by the All Blacks" asking them not to use it.
An NZR spokesperson told 1 NEWS this afternoon those claims are false.
"NZR has not had any communications with the UFC around the use of our logos," the spokesperson said.
"We are supportive of all sports people representing New Zealand, but are protective of our commercial IP including the specifically designed NZR fern."
City Kickboxing released a statement late this afternoon after Bareman's passionate speech, saying a representative from the All Blacks had reached out to them to clear up the matter.
"We're really heartened to have been contacted by the All Blacks really quickly this afternoon, who have informed us that no one from their legal team or management team has been in contact with the UFC," a statement from City Kickboxing read.
"They've reassured us that they're very much supporters of New Zealand team and New Zealand sports going overseas and that's heartening for us. We also want to reiterate that we're absolutely ardent supporters of the All Blacks and what they do for our country.
"It appears there has been miscommunication within the UFC, which is disappointing, however we are pleased to say we will be making our walk to the cage as proud Kiwis with the silver fern on our shoulder, as we have for the past five years."
1 NEWS has reached out to UFC for comment on the matter.