B.J. Penn garners less than 25 percent of vote in Hawaii primary election loss for Republican governor


B.J. Penn isn’t having much luck outside of the cage.

The UFC Hall of Famer, former champion in two-division fighting, failed to garner enough support to become Hawaii’s Republican governor. He received less than 25% of the vote during Saturday’s primary elections. An official , tally Penn was Penn. 2 percent of the vote to finish, well behind two-time Republican Lieutenant Governor Duke Aiona, who won with 47. 5 percent of the vote.

Aiona goes on to face current Lieutenant Governor Josh Green, representing the Democratic party in the upcoming general election on Nov. 8.

Penn announced his intention to run for governor of his home state in October 2021, vowing to challenge government-mandated COVID-19 safety protocols that were affecting Hawaii’s essential tourism industry. His goal was to lift all COVID-19-related restrictions.

Over the past 10 months, Penn has aggressively campaigned on social media using many popular Republican talking points, going as far as to prepare his supporters for the possibility of voter fraud. The 43-year-old has never held a political position in Hawaii.

*Penn was a UFC lightweight and welterweight champion. Since UFC 237 May , when he was defeated unanimously by Clay Guida in May to end a streak of eight consecutive losses, he hasn’t competed.

Penn has been in many legal issues over the years. Most recently, on Jan. 23, 2021, he was arrested in Honokaa, Hawaii, on suspicion of DUI and video was released of Penn being placed in a police car. He parted ways with the UFC in September 2019 when footage surfaced of Penn being involved in a fight at a Hawaii club.