When discussing the stellar life cycle, it's often stated that if the collapsing core of a star is bigger than the mass limit for a stable neutron star, it must collapse to a black hole.
However, could there be additional states of matter, denser than neutron-degenerate matter, that could form a stable stellar remnant without collapsing all the way to a black hole?
For example, I've seen a bit about hypothetical "quark matter" on Wikipedia, but there's not much info about it. Could there also be some type of "GUT matter" based on the unknown fundamental physics at the GUT scale? Or does current knowledge make this unlikely?