Adesanya faces current champion Alex Pereira in a middleweight title rematch in the headliner this Saturday in Miami in what will be the fourth time they collide.
The first two times was in kickboxing where Pereira emerged victorious. It looked like Adesanya would gain revenge in their UFC 281 encounter in November only to suffer another late knockout in dramatic fashion.
And so, their next encounter is significant as it will not only be Adesanya's last chance at gaining revenge against his bitter rival, but also possibly his last chance at regaining the middleweight title which he held for three years.
That's certainly the mindset “The Last Stylebender” is in going into their rematch.
“I’m hunting, and I mean that in every sense of the word,” Adesanya said on his YouTube channel (via MMA Junkie). “The mindset is different, definitely. Even (coach) Eugene (Bareman) and I are on the same page. The mindset is definitely different.
“I like it because it puts it all on me, and it’s kind of poetic in a way. One life: Roll the dice. This is my last shot, and I’m going to give it all I’ve got in every sense of the word.”
The same applies to Masvidal but in a more definitive sense.
“Gamebred” faces Gilbert Burns in a ranked welterweight encounter in the UFC 287 co-main event. Masvidal is currently on a three-fight losing streak and another defeat could signal the end of his MMA career, at least at the highest level.
That's something he admits himself.
“This could be the last one,” Masvidal said during the UFC 287 “Countdown” episode. “If I lose, I’m pretty much calling it quits. But a win against Gilbert means that things are headed in the right direction. So if I roll the dice and do everything right, I’m going for it all.”
That said, the plan is to always win and Masvidal believes a big statement victory over Burns could leapfrog him to title contention over Colby Covington to face current welterweight champion Leon Edwards.
Masvidal certainly has the name and backstory with Edwards to earn a title shot off one win, too.