The album debuted at number 56 on the Billboard 200 with sales of 7,600 copies in its first week. It also debuted at number seven on the Top Rap AlbumsBillboard chart. In its second week the album fell to number 124 on the Billboard 200 with total sales of 11,000 copies. To date, the album has sold over 27,000 copies in the US.
The album received a 3/5 star rating from XXL. Sean Ryon, editor of HipHopDX gave the album 3 out of 5 stars and said "As flawed as it is, Heart of a Champion is still an album worthy of merit. Paul exhibits a lyrical vigor unheard since his 2005 major label debut. While the album may not be a complete victory, he proves without a doubt that he's still the People's Champ." Ben Detrick of Spin commented this is his best album since his platinum-selling 2005 major-label debut. On the other hand, Jesse Cataldo of Slant Magazine gave Heart of a Champion a 1.5 out of 5, claiming the album "feels like a misguided departure and a lazy retread."