There are actually two answers to this question: absolutely, and not at all.
In the sport of MMA, everybody loses. It’s the nature of the beast. At the end of the day, it’s a fight and anybody can be beaten on any given night. However, the answer to this question comes down to who the person answering it is.
To the new MMA fan today, one loss means the sky is falling. You lose, and everything you’ve done goes up in flames.
To this fan, a loss means Silva's legacy is tarnished for good. The talk will be that Anderson is past his prime and can’t handle pure wrestling. Some will even call for him to retire.
However, what needs to be understood is that Anderson Silva is one of the best fighters ever. His legacy is already set and his dominance is arguably unsurpassed by anyone in the sport. Losing to Chael Sonnen won’t change that.
Sure, it’ll be a blemish on what has been a perfect UFC record. However, it’ll still be just one loss. The first loss in a dominant run with the Middleweight Championship.
All good things must come to an end. This streak has been amazing and is something that may not be equaled again in the UFC.
Someday, Anderson is going to step into the Octagon and just not have it. It’s just not going to be his fight. It happens to the best of the best. Sometimes, it’s just not your Saturday night.
Some would say that day was Saturday August 7, 2010 in Oakland when Chael took Anderson to the limit. Maybe he could be due for another one.
But if Silva does indeed drop the belt to Sonnen, his legacy is already intact. He’ll still be in the discussion for the greatest of all time.