Prior to his fight with Mercer, Affliction was prepared to offer him a fight with former UFC heavyweight contender Paul Buentello at what was to be their third event Trilogy. After watching Sylvia come in to his bout with Mercer in horrible shape and then getting knocked out in the fashion he did, Affliction pulled the bout with Buentello off of the table. The repercussions from the Mercer bout not only cost Sylvia any respect he had left, but now it was affecting his ability to make money.
Sylvia was then matched up with little-known Jason Riley at Adrenaline 4 in September of 2009. Although Sylvia defeated the much smaller Riley, it didn't do much to repair his tarnished reputation. He was still unable to make the heavyweight limit of 265 lbs, forcing this bout to be contested at super heavyweight.
Sylvia was scheduled to face former foe Wes Sims in Ohio, but the Ohio State Athletic Commission deemed the bout to be non-competitive. Cox attempted to have the bout moved to Nova Scotia under the IFC banner, but thankfully it never came to fruition.
Up next was a bout with former World's Strongest Man Mariusz Pudzianowski at a Moosin event in May of 2010. Once again Sylvia earned a victory, but this time it was against a man who had all of two career mixed martial arts bouts to his credit. It was apparent from the beginning of the bout that Pudzianowski had no business being in a fight with Sylvia.
California-based Powerhouse Promotions decided that they wanted to match Sylvia up against Buentello for their heavyweight championship. This time Sylvia was able to make a weight limit of 275 lbs and defeated Buentello via second-round knockout. It was announced after the bout that Sylvia's first title defense would be against former UFC heavyweight title contender Pedro Rizzo.
On December 11, Sylvia fought Vince Lucero at a CFX/Extreme Challenge event in Minneapolis. Lucero came into the bout with a stellar 19-18 record and may have been in worse shape than Sylvia. It didn't take long for Sylvia to finish Lucero off as he landed a barrage of punches, causing Lucero to tap out to strikes.