To answer the OP's original question, I would say yes. Simply because I currently find the list of contenders at LHW very unappealing. The only ones of interest have either already lost or already turned down a fight with the champion.
Like it or not, Sonnen did two things right. One, he was there when the UFC needed him to be, and two, he put up the best fight(s) to date against the best fighter in the world.
In my opinion this opportunity that he's been gifted proves two things. If you're there for the UFC, they will be there for you... and a loss to Anderson Silva does very little to hurt your career.
And this is all coming from one of the biggest anti-Sonnen guys on this board, as the majority of you can attest to.