Although Erberth Santos has long had a controversial reputation in the sport, nobody could have predicted that he would be arrested for a string of rapes and robberies across multiple cities in the state of Mato Grasso do Sul. The IBJJF world champion drew criticism several times over the years for some of his antics on the mats, which included striking several opponents and at one point even initiating a brawl off the mats. Santos’ behaviour has been known to extend outside of competition in the past too, as he has had encounters with the police and been thrown out of bars in the past.
The news of Santos’ arrest was originally reported by Brazilian outlet Globo, shortly after he was captured in Boituva, Sao Paulo on August 24th, 2023. Erberth Santos wasn’t acting alone either and he was arrested alongside Andre Pessoa, another athlete and combat sports competitor. The police investigation stated that the pair had raped at least four women and committed their crimes with extreme violence that including tying up, threatening and physically abusing their victims. They were also found with 26 cell phones, knives, and firearms when they were arrested. According to the report by Globo, both Santos and Pessoa actually confessed to the crimes they were accused of shortly after their arrest.
It’s shocking news for both the BJJ community globally and local community around Mato Grasso do Sul and it’s hard to imagine anybody committing them regardless of what they may have done on or off the mats in the past. Sadly it’s another piece of proof that Jiu-Jitsu doesn’t make someone a better person in any way and simply being good at the sport doesn’t mean anything about their character. JitsMagazine will be following the news of the arrest and trial of Erberth Santos to bring you updates on the case.