It has been three years since Jacob Berry has competed on the wrestling mat and experienced the thrill of competition. Now, the Camden Hills Regional High School graduate is set to make a comeback, and is doing so on a much grander — and perhaps tougher – scale.

Berry, a 2008 Camden Hills graduate who was a three-time state Class B champion with the Windjammers, will make his mixed martial arts debut on Friday, May 6 at the Portland Expo, where he will participate in a jam-packed card called “The Maine Event.”

Bellum Combat Association and the New England-based Global Fight League have joined forces to put on the event in Portland, which will feature 15 bouts, according to Berry.

Berry will face Mike Morin, a former All-American wrestler for the University of Southern Maine.

Berry also is the all-time leader in career wins (178) in Camden Hills/Camden-Rockport history.

Last weekend marked the first MMA event held in the state when a sold out crowd packed the Stevens Avenue Armory in Portland. Friday’s event also expected to be a sellout.

Berry, who has been training for Friday’s event for nearly two months and recently returned to the area after spending much of the previous three years in North Carolina, said to participate in such an event would be realizing a dream he has had for years.

“I’ve always wanted to do it ever since I was a freshman in high school,” he said. “I was telling all my friends, ‘Someday you’ll see me on TV doing that,’ and finally I’m trying to live my dream.”

He added that his “style” could best be identified as a striker, in a sport where submission, judo, kickboxing and traditional wrestling are among the many strategies fighters must both learn and adapt to in order to be successful.

Berry is not the first former Windjammer wrestling champion to participate in mixed martial arts competition, as 2000 Camden-Rockport High School graduate Tim Boetsch is a fighter with Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC).

With the violent nature of MMA, Berry said he is both nervous and excited heading into Friday’s bout.

“I’m pumped up for it,” he said. “It’s going to be a fight is the only way to look at it. He’s going to come in and try to knock me out and I’m going to go in there and try to knock him out. Whoever wants it more, that’s [the nature of] the sport.”

The doors for the event open at 6 p.m. with a 7 p.m. start time. General seating is $45 and $65 for closer seating.

VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by phone at 207-594-4401 or by email at sports@villagesoup.com.