I want to say Bisping by decision, but I think I'll be bold and say Bisping by technical knock out this time around.
Not even because I'm a fan. I'm just not sold on Belcher as a top guy yet, and Bisping has only really lost to the top guys. He's like on that level between good and elite in my opinion. If only he had more power and a better chin, he'd probably be more successful. He's solid on the ground and has very good stand up and footwork. I don't even think his chin is bad, it's just average. He has the average chin, he won't get knocked out by a gust of wind, but he's not going to take a ton of punishment either. Having barely any power and an average chin isn't a good combination when you're mostly a stand up fighter. His footwork and decent speed are what save him. They're not elite either though, so against the top guys, it shows. Fortunately like I said, I'm not sold on Belcher being an elite fighter so I can see this as winnable for Bisping.
Belcher has an okay ground game and very good stand up as well. Although Bisping has beat harder hitters and Belcher has an average chin as well. Their ground games are around the same level although are both arguably overrated. Belcher has some decent wins showing his ground game, but I'm going to take it upon myself to discredit them all, haha. *Puts on hater hat.*
Palhares fought a ridiculous fight and refused to give up on that heel hook. Belcher showed great submission defense, but it was no surprise that the predictable Palhares was going to go for his signature move. I'm sure Belcher prepared accordingly, and it's safe to say that Bisping isn't going to go for a heel hook if he has top position. Bisping is more of a ground and pound guy. Palhare also seems to give up when he takes any sort of punishment, so it was no surprise he gave up once Belcher gained top position.
MacDonald also gives up once he's in trouble. Belcher's ground and pound stoppage would be more impressive if Nate Quarry hadn't done the same thing, and Quarry seemed to have done it a lot easier as well.
Belcher has a submission win over Cote, but didn't he sort of spike Cote on his head or something? Either way, Cote hasn't looked very good in years. Even in his welterweight debut, he may have gotten the win, but he got out classed on the ground.
Denis Kang was schooling Belcher on the ground up until he got a little careless and got caught in that guillotine choke.
Ed Herman out classed Belcher on the ground. The fight even ended with Herman mounting him and raining down punches. All Belcher could do is cover up and wait for the bell. It was a decision I scored for Herman (who also seemed a little off that night), but Belcher got the split decision nod due to his success standing.
*Takes off hat* I'd mention the fact that he got submitted by Grove, but that was too long ago for me to really hold it against him. The fact is, his ground game is okay, but it hasn't impressed me that much yet. I know I discredited him a lot right there, and I could be wrong. You could also make the same claims against Bisping about his ground game being overrated. I just don't think you can really say who will have the advantage on the ground right now. Belcher doesn't have great take down defense at all, and I think Bisping could put him on his back. If he does, I'm not convinced that Belcher will sweep or submit him. Submitting an inconsistent Kang who was schooling him previously, and gaining top position against a predictable and one trick pony Palhares doesn't convince me that he'll do the same against a well prepared Bisping who will be looking to keep top position and not take unnecessary risks. If Bisping comes in this fight and doesn't take Belcher lightly, I can see him winning.
Like I said though, I admittedly could be way off base when it comes to Belcher. I don't know yet, we'll see and I won't care that much if I'm wrong. Just from what I've seen so far, he's not elite in my opinion and some aspects of his game haven't been that impressive.