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Erberth Santos opened up in a lengthy social media post that provided a blow-by-blow account of his 2019, which included auto wrecks, unplanned pregnancy, drug addiction, and the loss of his gym.
For those of you who do not read Portuguese, we've summarized the content of his post below so you can better understand his message. Just scroll down.
It started in January 2019, after he wrecked his brand new motorcycle. Erberth suffered an injury to his arm that he claims left him with only 15-percent functionality and prevented him from training with 20 days left until he was scheduled to compete against Felipe Pena at BJJ Stars.
When February came along, an injured Erberth stepped onto the stage. He claims he injured his knee, tearing two ligaments during the minute-long match. The ensuing brawl that erupted between Santos and matside supporters of Felipe Pena went down as one of the most deplorable moments in jiu-jitsu history, and Santos received a notice from the IBJJF sentencing him to a year-long suspension as punishment.
In March, Erberth's financial status started to decline and he had to move from his apartment into a favela.
In April, Santos was set to compete at the Abu Dhabi World Pro. He admits he had barely trained in the months prior and had lost all confidence going into the competition. He had to cut 11kg (24lb) but managed to recover 6kg (13lb) before the fight. Ultimately, he lost in the semifinal and went to the doctors for medical assistance as he was overheating. Dousing himself in water which trickled down onto his gi pants, spectators speculated that Erberth had urinated in his pants.
Santos reveals he was given the shock news that he would become a father, something that was unplanned. Becoming a father comes with financial responsibilities, and this forced him to tighten his budget even further. In an effort to provide, Erberth sold his car and started riding his bike to the gym. Slowly, he became depressed and began smoking large quantities of marijuana, a habit that he openly admits does not contribute to his wellbeing.
In an effort to find peace, Erberth then moved from Sao Paulo out to the countryside of Campinas to live on a small farm. There he bought and sold animals and lost a significant amount of weight. He decided to give all the animals to his neighbor and moved back to Sao Paulo.
Santos reconnected with his former coach Luiz Guigo, who offered to help him get back on his feet. Erberth began seeking treatment for his mental health issues and completed multiple sessions with a psychologist. However, Erberth reports his mental health was being tarnished by smoking over 10 joints a day.
After seeking treatment for mental health and getting a handle on his marijuana consumption, Erberth recommitted himself to training. He started by hiring a fitness coach, a doctor, a new jiu-jitsu coach and says he got a handle on the negative self-talk entering his mind.
Not all bad
According to record-keeping site BJJ Heroes, Santos had 13 matches in 2019 with eight wins and five losses. Santos won and lost the Fight 2 Win heavyweight gi title, and since January has defeated Ricardo Evangelista, Abdurakhman Bilarov, Gutemberg Pereira, Igor Schneider, and Claudio Calasans, submitting Bilarov and Calasans with leglocks.
Erberth Santos 2019 grappling record
|Paulo Pinto||W||Pts: 2x0||Grand Slam AD|
|R. Evangelista||W||Pts: 0x0, Adv||Grand Slam AD|
|Felipe Pena||L||DQ||BJJ Stars|
|Abdurakhman Bilarov||W||Kneebar||World Pro|
|Kaynan Duarte||L||Pts: 2x0||World Pro|
|Anton Minenko||L||Verbal tap||World Pro|
|Gutemberg Pereira||W||Referee Decision||F2W Pro 111|
|Emanoel Felix||W||Choke from back||Mundial CBJJE|
|Igor Schneider||W||Choke from back||Mundial CBJJE|
|Tim Spriggs||L||Referee Decision||F2W Pro 130|
|Claudio Calasans||W||Toe hold||Spyder Invitational|
|Nicholas Meregali||L||Verbal tap||Spyder Invitational|