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Erberth Santos banned by BJJ Stars after initiating brawl in the crowd

Erberth Santos (pictured) was banned from ever competing at BJJ Stars again.
Photo via Erberth Santos' Instagram

BJJ Stars put on a stellar card Saturday night in Sao Paulo, Brazil, featuring several jiu-jitsu world champions and legends of the sport. Yet, Erberth Santos’ antics remain the biggest talking point hours after the event.

Santos, a multiple-time champion in IBJJF competition, including the 2017 World Championship, took on ADCC 2017 absolute gold medalist and IBJJF world champion Felipe “Preguiça” Pena in one of the most anticipated matches of the night.

Minutes after the match started, Santos suffered a knee injury. When the doctor entered the mat to check on him, Santos appeared to argue with someone in the audience, getting back on his feet and rushing into the crowd and initiating a brawl. Seconds later, Santos ran across the mat to attack more people on the other side.

Video footage shows “Preguiça” landing a kick on Santos on the ground before trying to calm people down.

BJJ Stars promoter Fernando Lopes spoke with MMA Fighting on Sunday morning, announcing that Santos is now banned from ever competing for the promotion again.

“He was provoked by someone in the crowd, who was cheering for Felipe or against him,” Lopes said. “I’m a black belt for 21 years and an athlete has to be a black belt on and off the mat to deserve a black belt in my team. I wouldn’t give a blue belt to an irresponsible man who fights in the street.”

“The event was great, getting a lot of praise, and it’s a shame that one person’s attitude can tarnish the entire work of many people in the end,” he continued. “I know how hard my partners and I worked, I left many things aside to put my passion in first place, and that can’t tarnish all the work we’ve done.”

Santos did not respond a request for comment.

“Preguiça”, who was declared the winner of the match, reacted to the mess on his social media.

”It’s a shame what happened, despite the victory I’m sad with today,” he wrote. “I got ready and I dedicated a lot to give a show for you and unfortunately ended unexpectedly! Sport is not that.”

In the other BJJ Stars super fights, Joao Gabriel Rocha defeated Marcus “Buchecha” Almeida by advantages (3-0), Nicholas Meregali beat Leandro Lo by points (4-0), Roberto Godoi defeated UFC veteran Renato “Babalu” Sobral by points (2-0), and Marco Barbosa beat fellow legend Wellington Megaton by points (2-0).

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