From Mountain Valley wrestling to the MMA cage

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RUMFORD, Maine (NEWS CENTER) -- Ryan Burgess set the bar high.

"I was a three-time state champion, 151 career wins," says Burgess.

Since his name was placed on the gym wall at Mountain Valley High School in Rumford back in 2011, Burgess has become a physical therapist's assistant, living and working around his hometown.

He's also found a new athletic pursuit.

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Burgess and a few fellow former Falcon wrestlers train at Berserkers MMA, a mixed martial arts gym in Rumford founded by their high school wrestling coach.

"They compete in wrestling for so long, and all of a sudden, it's gone, and they have nothing left," says Gary Dolloff, Mountain Valley wrestling coach and founder of Berzerkers MMA. "We give them a different opportunity to get in the cage."

They work out together at the Greater Rumford Community Center, replacing one intense sport with another.

"We're growing and getting kids off the street and doing something different than causing trouble, and giving them the opportunity to keep competing," says Dolloff.

Burgess is currently training at Berserkers for an armature flyweight bout, returning to the cage in Lewiston for NEF 32. His opponent? Nate Boucher, another former wrestler from Mountain Valley.

"It's nice that something like this can happen, and a couple of stand outs from the community can make it as far as we have," says Boucher.

Though Boucher trains in Lewiston, both he and Burgess are representing their hometown of Rumford, and showing that you can keep fighting the good fight after you're high school days are done.

"I think it'll be a good fight, it'll be a fun fight, and I definitely think I'm going to come away with a win here," says Boucher.

"It's been a year since I've been in the cage and I'm itching to get back," says Burgess. "You're going to want to see this is all I have to say."

NEF 32 takes place on February 3 at the Androscoggin Bank Colisee in Lewiston.