It’s a strange turn of events but one that isn’t entirely unprecedented, UFC hall-of-fame legend BJ Penn has announced his intention to run for governor of Hawaii in 2022. Penn was a UFC champion on two separate occasions and across two different weightclasses who was known for his willingness to take on any opponent at any weight. So much so in fact, that he had a pair of fights under the K-1 banner against future UFC Light-Heavyweight champion Lyoto Machida and legendary Light-Heavyweight grappler Renzo Gracie.
His career in the sport started all the way back in 2001, just a year after he became the first American to win an IBJJF world championship and cemented his place in the history books. It was this elite level of Jiu-Jitsu talent that drove the early success of his MMA career as he submitted both Joe Stevenson and Matt Hughes to claim the UFC Lightweight and Welterweight belts respectively. Penn’s MMA career took a turn in 2010 when he embarked on the roughest patch of his entire career, going 1-9-1 across eleven fights and getting into a series of legal troubles that eventually led to his release from the UFC in 2019.
Since then, Penn has stayed relatively quiet except for an attempt to call out YouTube star Jake Paul for a boxing match after he knocked out Ben Askren. Now it seems that BJ Penn is ready to embark on an entirely different kind of fight as he will run for Governor of Hawaii. He announced the news in a post to his official Instagram account which served as a statement of the kind of policies that he will be pursuing and the platform he will run on.
“Hawaii is losing all of it’s freedoms. Our economy is being destroyed and all of our rights are being taken away. We need somebody to fight for us.”
According to the above message and the one written on the post, he will be campaigning to eliminate the possibility of vaccine passports and mask mandates. In the words of BJ Penn himself, his goal is to ‘follow the constitution to a tee’ should he eventually be elected as Governor of Hawaii when he runs in 2022: