In 2011 Masakazu Imanari returned to DREAM to take part in the Bantamweight Japan Tournament. He won his first two tournament fights in a single night defeating both Keisuke Fujiwara and Kenji Osawa at Dream: Fight for Japan!. The tournament finals took place at Dream: Japan GP Final where Imanari faced off with Hideo Tokoro. Tokoro defeated Imanari to win the tournament, the second place finish gained Imanari entrance into the Bantamweight Grand Prix. Imanari faced Abel Cullum in the opening round of the Bantamweight Grand Prix at Dream 17 at Saitami Super Arena in Saitama, Japan, on Sept. 24. He won the bout via submission in the third round. In the semifinal round at Fight For Japan: Genki Desu Ka Omisoka 2011, Imanari lost to Antonio Banuelos via split decision.