Traditionally, the cup and saucer pose is referred to as a chambering, ostensibly for a backfist and sidekick. Domingo, my partner in the video below, assures me that if I were to break his nose with a backfist, it might end the fight. Domingo is too kind. I spar knockdown karate with Domingo regularly. He's got more muscle and bone mass, and heaps more motivation. A backfist, I'm afraid, would only stoke the hellfire sure to follow such a foolish move.
In the video, I demonstrate an elbow attack from a clinch, such as I might find myself in if Domingo lands a glancing blow and I grab and hold, and a situation where Domingo is raining down punches and I cover-up. Of course, a lapel grab might also be a situation where an elbow attack might be warranted. The art is not memorizing an application for every scenario, but being able to apply the principle to any scenario.