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Former UFC lightweight champion Anthony Pettis targeted by Eddie Alvarez, Edson Barboza

It's "Showtime!"

Alex Trautwig/Getty Images

When a fighter sees a high-profile name, it means an opportunity.

One that can open new doors.

Such is the case with the recent call outs of former Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) lightweight titleholder Anthony Pettis, by rising contenders Eddie Alvarez and Edson Barboza.

The report, given by UFC Tonight's Ariel Helwani, states that both Alvarez and Barboza are angling for a shot at "Showtime," per their respective managers Alex Davis and Josh Husak.

And why wouldn't they? He's the No. 1-ranked lightweight, even ahead of current No. 1 contender Donald Cerrone, who fights champion Rafael dos Anjos at UFC on FOX 17 in December (more on that here).

The 28-year-old Pettis has been itching to get back following elbow surgery, one that sidelined him after his title loss to Dos Anjos at UFC 185 back in March. He even offered to fill in for either "Cowboy," or the Brazilian, if either can't make it to their 155-pound title clash on Dec. 19, 2015 inside Amway Center in Orlando, Florida.

In the meantime, the Roufusport product misses out on Khabib Nurmagomedov, who Pettis had words with over the last 12 months.

Maybe it's time for him to turn his attention to Alvarez and Barboza?

"Junior" most recently defeated Paul Felder at UFC on FOX 16 back in July in what was a stunning kickboxing spectacle. Then, just last week, he made his efforts to become champion by 2016 known, and even name-dropped Pettis.

Alvarez conquered the currently-suspended Gilbert Melendez in a lightweight grudge match at UFC 188 back in June and is 1-1 in UFC. He would also like to fight two more times this year if "the company would have it."

With both men climbing the lightweight ladder, it would appear that Pettis is on a collision course with at least one of them.

I don't know about you Maniacs, but I sure as hell wouldn't mind either Alvarez or Barboza slugging it out with "Showtime."

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