The Ultimate Fighter
This time of year is always tough for Giga Chikadze.
With Mother’s Day just a few days away, it’s hard not for Chikadze to think of his mother, Nino, who lost her battle with breast cancer in 2013.
The hardships that Chikadze witnessed his mother, family and friends go through during the period in which she fought cancer inspired him to start assisting others in similar situations. He felt firsthand how physically, emotionally and financially draining it can be to fight the disease.
“Pretty much whatever we had was from family, but a lot of other people were helping us because I was a fighter,” Chikadze told UFC.com. “This made me think that if somebody didn’t have anybody, any family or any celebrity in their family or something like this, how would they collect those finances?”
In 2014, Chikadze and his sister Keso started a charity titled “Knockout Cancer,” which assists individuals fighting cancer with financial support for medical bills, chemotherapy and medical evaluations. Typically, Chikadze uses money from his fights and endorsements to fund Knockout Cancer’s efforts.
“Usually, we finance the medical bills and also, we support post chemotherapy and post-surgery processes, as well,” Chikadze said. “Let’s say, to go to check again to go to the doctor or do an MRI or other procedures.”
To date, the Chikadzes have helped nearly 200 people across the world, with Keso working to identify those in need and facilitate donations while Chikadze fights to create awareness and help earn funds. Chikadze and Keso have big plans in 2021 to expand the reach of Knockout Cancer and help as many people as possible.
“We are hoping to multiply this more by hundreds and thousands in the future,” Chikadze said. “I know that my fund isn’t really big yet, but I know for those people it was still big and I’m proud of it.”
Using his desire to help others as motivation has boded well for the 32-year-old. Since joining the UFC in 2019 he has gone 5-0 and maneuvered himself into the top 15 of the UFC featherweight rankings. With each fight he knows he’s getting more eyes on him and that means more light will shine on Knockout Cancer.
“We started this pretty early, in 2014, and we’ve been pushing slowly. Since I moved [to the United States] I was waiting for the time where the big media would ask me about it,” Chikadze said. “We’ve been waiting for the right time to promote this. I believe we can help more people. We are finally getting there.
“I know that my fund isn’t really big yet, but I know for those people it was still big & I’m proud of it.”@Giga_Chikadze discusses his charity Knockout Cancer which has provided nearly 200 people fighting cancer with financial support.— UFC News (@UFCNews) May 1, 2021
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“The bigger I get in the fight game I believe the charity will be doing better and better. It’s one of the motivations for me. When I fight, I know I don’t fight just for me; I fight for my people, for Georgian people, and for the people we help.”
For more information on how you can contribute to Knockout Cancer, please visit https://www.kocancer.charity/.