Top Mount

The mount is my favorite position in MMA because not only do you have your opponent pinned to the mat, but you've also got both of your hands free to throw strikes and go for submissions. I realize that there are a lot of fighters who don't feel the same way. Some fighters fear the mount because they worry about their opponent bridging and putting them on their back. They feel side control is a much safer position to work from. Although their concern is legitimate, it doesn't mean the mount should be ignored. You simply need to master the mount in training. Your goal should be to develop a mount that is stronger than your opponent's escapes. This can be said for all positions. If your passes aren't as strong as your opponent's guard, you're never going to reach side control. In such a situation should you avoid guard altogether? No, you should work on your passes.

With time and practice, your confidence in being able to maintain the mount position will grow. When I fight, I always feel a sense of urgency to obtain the mount, and when I do, I feel an even greater sense of urgency because the end of the fight could be lurking right around the comer. I could end it with strikes, a submission, or by transitioning to my opponent's back and choking him out.

There are three different mount positions that I utilize in MMA competition. The first one I call "mount stabilization control." In this mount you are clinched up with your opponent and have one arm wrapped underneath his head. Because you're pinning your opponent flat on his back, it's an excellent position to stabilize the mount and set up submissions. However, it is not the best position from which to strike.

Neck control is the second mount position I utilize. In this mount, you posture up and pin your opponent's neck to the mat with one hand, making it an excellent position from which to strike. In order to fully capitalize on this mount, it is imperative that you not only leam an assortment of downward strikes, but you also learn what submissions you can execute based upon your opponent's reactions to your strikes.

The third position I use is the double attack mount. It takes a little more to achieve this position, but it's a solid control position that sets you up nicely to strike, execute submissions, or transition to your opponent's back. I give several techniques that you can utilize from each of these three mount positions in the upcoming section, and I suggest you explore all of them. The more tricks you have up your sleeve, the more confident you'll become at obtaining and maintaining the mount position.

Key Concepts for Mount

^When you transition to the mount, immediately stabilize the position.

^To stabilize the mount, keep your hips low and press your weight into your opponent. You also want to slide your legs under your opponent's legs and touch your heels together.

Mount Escapes

Other than having an opponent take your back, the bottom mount position is the worst position in MMA. Not only can your opponent land devastating punches, but he can also easily lock in a submission. Escaping should be your primary goal, and you should conserve no energy in the process. Don't rest for even one second. If your opponent pins your neck to the ground, you want to whack his arm away with your hand. If he postures up to land strikes, buck him forward to mess with his balance. Unless you do everything in your power to improve your position, the fight will be over in a flash.

A good way to get better at escaping the bottom mount position is to practice mount drills. One such drill is to have a training partner mount you for one minute. While he throws downward strikes and goes for submissions, your only job is to escape. Every time you get the escape, let your opponent climb back into the mount. It can be quite painful at times, but it's better than getting mounted in a fight and being lost as to how to better your situation.

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