If you have already been doing jiu-jitsu for a little bit of time, then these positions may be obvious to you. This will be additional knowledge for the casual MMA fan: the guy who may want to train but can’t and just enjoys watching his MMA fights on a Saturday night.
Mount is one of the preferred positions for those that like to ground and pound. Once you’re on top, you will most definitely have an amazing opportunity to land some serious strikes. Whether it’s punches or elbows, you’re at a huge advantage.
Recently it’s been harder to finish opponents in this position because fighters have become so good at escaping and transitioning into a less dangerous position such as the half-guard. Nevertheless, for the more skilled groundsman, mount is also a gateway to other advantageous positions. Classically, the two most popular transitions from here in MMA are the armbar and back control. The armbar is easy to catch especially when you’re throwing punches. Oddly enough if you’re in high mount, the top fighter is able to reach his opponent’s chin but the bottom fighter cannot do the same. In the past, many fighters would reach their hands out in desperation to block the punches and would get caught in an armbar very easily. Some of the more clever fighters would straighten their arms to bait the top fighter into attempting the armbar and would properly time an escape. So, nowadays, fighters that are on the top prefer to continue to Ground and Pound to avoid losing their advantageous position. Of course, this is all dependent on the fighter’s confidence in his jiu-jitsu.
The last top transition from mount is back control. This position is even more dangerous than mount and will give a fighter a very high chance of winning. A lot of fighters on the bottom, that are more confident with their ground game, will give up the back to avoid the stronger punches in the face and would rather take the chance of escaping back control. The horrible thing is, escaping back control is very difficult as well and usually the fight will go into a dangerous cycle - from mount to back control to mount and so forth.
This position is generally worse than being mounted, even if you’re an experienced jiu-jitsu guy. Sure, you won’t be taking full punches in the face like you would in mount, but you’re one easy transition away from getting mounted again. You’ll also be eating hooks on the side of your head along with elbows. There are a bunch of nasty submissions from there, most commonly an armbar and the rear naked choke.
Even if you do escape, your only realistic position is, once again, ending up on the bottom of a half-guard position. Even though you will have more options offensively, and you can defend yourself better from strikes, you will still be in danger of receiving a lot of heavy punches and elbows.