A prisoner launched a kung-fu kick at a guard handing out toilet roll to inmates.
Marlon Finneran "snatched" a pack of four from the prisoner officer, who then scolded him for his behaviour.
In response he walked away, turned and ran at the guard before leaping into a "flying kick".
The attack, at Warrington's HMP Risley, connected with the guard's arms and stomach, leaving him with pain and bruising.
When the officer reached for his pepper spray, Finneran said: "What do you think that's going to do?"
But Finneran was incapacitated after being sprayed to the face.
The August 2019 attack followed Finneran being moved to Risley after attacking another prison officer at HMP Forest Bank in Salford.
The 26-year-old, who was in a single cell due to his previous behaviour, started banging on the door and demanding a phone in the November 2018 incident, Manchester Crown Court heard.
The officer said he would go and get him one.
Before opening the door, the officer checked on Finneran, who appeared to be "calm".
But when the officer opened the cell door, Finneran punched him once to the nose, the Manchester Evening News reported.
Rachel Widdicombe, prosecuting, he was bleeding heavily and in "considerable pain".
Later at hospital, he was found to have suffered a fracture to his nose.
In a statement read to the court, the officer said it was the fourth time he had been assaulted at work, adding: "I was helping him to keep in touch with his family, yet he has caused my family stress due to his actions."
Finneran, of no fixed address, has more than 30 previous convictions, including for violence and assaulting prison officers.
Defending, Paul Hodgkinson said Finneran has "significant mental health difficulties", and he has been diagnosed with schizophrenia.
Sentencing, Judge Patrick Field, QC said Finneran had "lured" the officer at Forest Bank.
He said: "He was trying to assist you. Your attack upon him was wholly unprovoked, wholly gratuitous and entirely unacceptable."
The judge added: "You are a man who is completely contemptuous towards authority, in particular when it is wearing the uniform of a prison officer."
Finneran was jailed for 18 months, after pleading guilty to one count of assault occasioning actual bodily harm, and one count of assault by beating on an emergency worker.