Brian Ortega says his bout against Yair Rodriguez is putting Mexico on the map at UFC Fight Night ... telling TMZ Sports it will be one of the biggest Mexican events the promotion has ever seen.
T-City is going up against his friend, El Pantera, in New York on Saturday ... and he tells us it's going to be a monumental night.
"This is one of the biggest first Mexican on Mexican fights to ever, ever be on UFC," Ortega tells us.
"For the first time in a long time, if not one of the first times ever, us Mexicans are on the map. Mexico's on the map."
"So, to be that Mexican and he's the other one, it's an honor, it's a f***ing privilege, and I can't wait to give the world a show."
Ortega (15-2) is coming off a hard-fought loss to Alexander Volkanovski ... and he says like with every fight, he's going to come out with a better and smarter version of himself against Yair.
Speaking of Volkanovski -- Ortega says he's always gunning for the belt ... and if he gets through Rodriguez on Saturday, he's ready to take another shot at the champ.