Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports
Before any questions roll in about why Brock Lesnar didn't make the list, I'll just address it upfront.
Lesnar's UFC career was something of a supernova. It was bright and brilliant before fizzling out into a blackened void. But the former WWE superstar did not make this list, regardless of how short and bittersweet his career was.
Lesnar was hurried along in his UFC career, debuting against Frank Mir in a loss at UFC 81. Then, in just his fourth professional fight, he met Randy Couture for the heavyweight title, a matchup he absolutely dominated.
He would go on to defend his title twice, topping Mir in a rematch at UFC 100 and earning an improbable comeback win over Shane Carwin at UFC 116.
Things took a turn for the worst after that, as Lesnar never looked the same again, dropping back-to-back technical knockout losses against Alistair Overeem and Cain Velasquez.
Following the loss to Overeem, he elected to retire with a UFC record of 4-3. So why did he not make the list of fighters that peaked too soon?
Frankly, it's because Lesnar didn't have the collapse that the other fighters on this list did. It's easy to look at his record and retirement and come to the conclusion that he did peak too quickly. But if Lesnar returned to the UFC tomorrow, he'd still be a top-10 heavyweight, no question.
No other fighter on this list can say they are top 10 in their respective divisions.
Lesnar realized that he wasn't the best heavyweight anymore, and probably wasn't a top-five heavyweight anymore. Instead of taking beatings against the elite, or earning meaningless wins against lesser athletes, he opted for a return to professional wrestling.
And his medical struggles following UFC 100 certainly didn't help convince him to stick around in a brutal heavyweight division.
Superstar Lesnar's career was quick, featuring brutal wins and devastating losses, but he didn't peak too soon. Lesnar never saw his ability diminish, like Joe Stevenson did. Instead, fighters such as Velasquez simply surpassed him in terms of ability.
If Lesnar returned to the UFC, he would face top-10 talent and he would remain a contender. Grispi, Vera and the others cannot say the same thing.